“A good half of the art of living is resilience.”

Alain de Botton

A good half of the art of business is resilience, as well.

Here’s how the need for resilience may show up:

  • All information you’re monitoring looks good. Things seem to be going well, overall.
  • Oh, maybe there’s one small thing that’s a little off-course, but it shouldn’t be a big deal, not after you make a few tweaks and tucks. It’s NOTHING to worry about.
  • Time passes. Things change, even if almost imperceptibly.
  • Suddenly, and seemingly without warning, you’re facing potential disaster.

That little problem you weren’t…

Have you ever been blindsided, whether by difficult circumstances or by opportunity?

Many people in the U.S. might answer “Yes!” to that question, given the recent election, who might previously have said, “Hmmm, let me try to think of an example…”

Consider a big surprise in your career or personal life, whether positive or negative.

If you had anticipated and been ready for it, would that have affected the decisions or actions you took when the surprise occurred?

Be better prepared the next time changes are sharp and sudden.

Scenario analysis, a simple planning tool, can help you.

It may…

“I think we’re lost. Yeah, we’re lost. I KNOW we’re lost!”

Does that sound like the worried buzz at the company where you once worked — or the one where you work now?

Did the path forward once seem SO clear, so destined to be successful during the cool logic of business or project planning?

And now, does that plan seem to be pure fiction, or a dream, perhaps?

These “we’re lost” quotes were not from an employee sometime, somewhere.

These were the fears of our then-12-year-old son, Matt, as his 20-year-old sister, Anne, tried to lead us back to…

Great leaders are great communicators.

Leaders’ effectiveness depends on their ability to inspire, engage, and activate many people to reach for and work for a shared vision, meet common goals, and create significant results together.

Being a great communicator is one of top ten characteristics of great leaders.

Powerful, effective leaders know when and how to communicate, no matter what’s going on with their teams or organizations.

Leaders may face many different emotions at different times in the teams that they lead (and, by the way, in themselves).

A strong orientation to action is one of the top ten characteristics of great leaders.

Action orientation is not as common a characteristic as you might think.

“Making an idea work is more difficult and more important than having the idea in the first place,” notes author and consultant Edward de Bono.

At many companies, there’s great eagerness and competition for being involved in new and intellectually engaging assignments. These may include deciding and designing how something will be done, such new products and services, or an entirely new division of a company.

When it comes time, though, for some…

Being able to make good decisions, at all levels of your organization, is vital to your company’s success.

Decision making skill, one of the top ten characteristics of great leaders, is more difficult than many people realize.

Consider this thought:

“Some problems are so complex that you have to be…well-informed just to be undecided about them.”

Laurence J. Peter

Great decisions can have deep, lasting and positive effects on many people.

Think about the far-reaching impact of these three decisions:

  • Columbus’ decision to seek the New World
  • John F. Kennedy’s decision that the US would land a man on the…

Strategy. Strategic.

Do those words make you feel excited, eager, energized? Or does your heart start racing a bit in fear, at the mere mention of strategy, and the responsibility it brings?

Leaders’ reactions to strategic opportunities run the full gamut from fear and apprehension to eagerness to take on the challenge.

Some people like the excitement of sizing up the future and placing their bets on a particular course of action and events which strategy setting really represents.

For others, the word “strategy” and “strategic” make them break into a fearful sweat.

cour·age, noun

The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without, or in spite of fear; bravery.

We admire courage when exhibited by others.

Yet do we want to be in situations where our own courage is called for?

In a word, no — or most people don’t.

Such times center around high-risk circumstances that could so easily go wrong. But for so many reasons…and because they may affect many people…situations that call for courage really must go right, somehow.

Not surprisingly, great courage is one of the top characteristics of great…


A problem-solving comment on Twitter recently gave me pause.

The writer said how much easier problem-solving is when people don’t “switch sides.”

“‘Taking sides’ on problem-solving teams. Interesting…and ripe for many problems,” I thought.

The primary cause for teams that are split into “sides” is, in all likelihood, the fact that they do not have a real, driving purpose and clear goals to unify them.

If they did, opposing sides would be unlikely to crop up, or it would be hard for the different “sides” to be sustained within the team.

A team’s shared and overriding purpose for existing —…


Discover, express and focus on a future for your team that’s clear, positive, compelling. To do that, capture your team’s vision.

Visionary leadership is one of the top characteristics of great leaders.

A vision that works for you is one that’s honest, customer-focused, and inspires and empowers your group. It enables them to take action cohesively and creatively to make the vision come true, no matter what obstacles they find ahead.

A vision this powerful will be one that appeals to your team’s emotions, as well as their intellect.

When you think about creating the vision together, think of it…

Jan Richards

Entrepreneur, consultant, author. For more, see Jan-Richards.com.

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