Resilence in the Rubble

When So Much Seems Lost

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

On a memorable trip to Nepal I witnessed the results of resilience in the people of this small country with 8 of the 14 highest peaks on Planet Earth. Their resilience seems to be grounded in their way of responding to changes in their natural environment rather than just reacting.

nepal_earthquake_reconstruction_1.jpg

In 2015 a deadly earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 stuck Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and injuring almost 22,000 in Nepal. This earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing 21 and making April 25, 2015 the deadliest day on the mountain in history.

Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese suddenly were homeless. Entire villiages were flattened. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In response to this devastating destruction Nepalese leaders wisely tapped into the natural strength of a people whose nation includes 25 different ethnic groups. That strength is their Resilience.

Past and current generations of Nepalese view the earth as a place where nothing is permanent. In the aftermath of the quake Nepalese resilience expressed itself in rebuilding, repairing and restoring what had been destroyed or damaged.

fullsizeoutput_9c43.jpeg

Wisely, leaders tapped into this strength of the Nepalese people to coalesce their individual and collective efforts into a national focus and way of engaging: “Resilience in the Rubble.”

3 years later the Nepalese continue to labor diligently in the repair and restoration of brick and wooden homes, temples, palaces and other buildings. For them “Resilience in the Rubble” is more than a shared endeavor. The Nepalese embody resilience as a natural way of being — fortifying them for more hard work still to be done.

IMG_5640.jpg

The quiet diligence evident in this inclusive culture shows us that human resilience can lead to positive responses when we experience sudden, exceedingly destructive, and tragic events along with formidable disruptive challenges. The question is…

In the midst of devastation what gives you the strength to be resilient — responding instead of just reacting — in life, leadership and business?

Dragonfly Leadership

Subtle Natural Power

Dragonflies are very ancient, estimated to have been on earth for over 180 million years. Their jewel-like bright coloring takes time to develop, reflecting the idea that with maturity your own true leadership colors emerge. Their fast flight and aerial feats—flying up to 30 miles an hour, and twisting, turning and changing direction in an instant, and even flying backwards—engage them in constant change.

As a leader in today's world how often do you experience the need to move, metaphorically speaking, like a dragonfly with alarity, precision, and ease? What practices enable your leadership to be dragonfly resilient?

A closer look at the natural yet subtle power of dragonflies could provide you with some leadership insights.

Dragonflies inhabit two realms—air and water. The significance for you as a leader is that these dragonfly domains offer a balance of mental clarity and emotional intelligence. 

A simple practice can strengthen your leadership, mentally and emotionally. When confronted by sudden unwelcomed change, breathe deeply—bringing air into your body and a sense of spaciousness into your mind. If it's available, drink some water to give yourself a moment to think.

This conscious practice also gives you a chance to tune into your feelings and self-regulate them. Like dragonfly, use air and water to see ways to navigate unexpected change and respond to it initially. Notice the shifts you are making to lead yourself and your team toward the new goal or in the new direction.

Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive. ~Jamais Cascio