I have had several opportunities to lead and participate in group discussions at retreat weekends. When I listen to people share at the end of the weekend the message of I was encouraged to hear that I was not the only one struggling with ___________always appears. People find comfort in knowing that what they are feeling is common to others. All too often leaders are told or tell themselves they have to act more like a superhero than a person. While it is true that leaders should not run around like Chicken Little every time something unexpected happens (people do look to leaders for inspiration in the form of strength), that is not the transparency that I am talking about. Transparency is about admitting we are surprised or stressed, and then getting back to the work of dealing with whatever knocked us off-balance.
Resilience is not about not being rattled, it is about how quickly we recover. Someone I look to as a great voice in this is Doug Silsbee. Doug tells the story of a martial arts master who was once asked why he never seemed to be knocked off-balance. The master replied that he was constantly being knocked off-balance, but he had learned through practice to return to center very quickly. For the master who looked impenetrable, being transparent was about being honest when asked. Imagine the impact on those who came to him to learn? The students left that day recognizing the importance of practice in their own quest for mastery.
With an economic world that is so interconnected, there will constantly be events that surprise us/our businesses and knock us off-balance. Learning to absorb those blows and get back to center is a skill that people/leaders at all levels need. This path to resiliency starts by being willing to admit that, no matter what people see, we get shaken like everyone else.