The role of a manager has become increasingly challenging. While the fast-paced, highly connected world we have created has made many of our lives easier, it has also changed the landscape of the way we work, and for managers in particular, the “off” button just doesn’t exist.
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- A recent Gallup Survey shows almost two thirds of managers are not engaged and committed to their jobs. Even worse 14% are actively disengaged!
- Of the thousands surveyed, only 34% of people said they aspire to leadership positions – and a mere 7% aim for C-level management.
- According to a Randstad study, increased stress is the number-one reason for avoiding management responsibility.
Leaders Need Resilience
Let’s face it, the task of leading others is inherently difficult – it always has been. A primary role of leaders is to tackle the harrowing burden of bridging the conflicting interests of the employee and the corporation. And now given rapid technology advancements, the business world we operate in is continuously evolving at a rapid pace, leading to high frequencies of change, newly emerging competitors and substitutes, and the half-life of any technical skill has shrunk to five years. And all of the responsibility is resting on the shoulders of leaders to resolve. This is why the stress of a manager today is more daunting than ever before.
Resilient leaders are those who adapt to changing circumstances and environments with ease, viewing new challenges as opportunities rather than hardships and finding the complexity of their jobs to be stimulating and gratifying. In fact, stress in our life is actually an indicator of a fulfilling life, stress only becomes harmful to our productivity and even our health when we struggle with managing how we handle and view “stressful” situations.
Blame the Negativity Bias
But it’s not our fault that we become overwhelmed and view stress as a negative rather than a positive, and in fact, we are wired this way. Humans have an innate negativity bias, which at one time is what allowed us to survive. Being hyper-aware of threats such as disaster, disease, and invasions was a beneficial trait. Those who survived had developed this keen sense to be aware of the negative.
Today, however, this auto-response to viewing events negatively only hurts our capacity to be productive and efficient.
Expecting leaders to handle the intricacies of their stressful jobs is unreasonable without managerial resilience training. New research in neuroscience tells us that our brains are much more elastic and malleable than previously suspected. We can actually rewire our brains, even into our old age, but without the proper training to do so, adapting our minds to view challenges as opportunities rather than threats, we lose out on our potential as a leader.
- Leaders who demonstrate a high level of talent for managing others contribute 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers do, yet only 18% of managers show this fundamental skill.
- Managers with resilience training are 22% less likely to allow stressful situations to take a personal toll
- Leaders with resiliency training are 21% more effective at positively influencing others during times of change.
- Those who profiled high in resiliency are 14% more engaged in their work during stressful times.
Utilize Resilience to Manage a Social Workforce
Some of the more recent challenges that managers are facing today include:
- Sustaining high engagement levels isn’t as easy as it once was. Before smart phones and social networking, employees still found ways to be disengaged in their work, but today managers face the difficult challenge of keeping employees focused and driven when there are millions of distractions readily available.
- Managing from afar. Leaders today are being tasked with a new proposition, managing teams that are remote workers. Whether they are at the opposite end of the country, or simply on the other end of town, managing a growing workforce that isn’t physically present is becoming more common practice and becoming a standard that managers will need to adapt to.
With resilience training for managers, leaders will assess new found stressors and instead of neglecting the problem or rejecting new tasks, they will address new challenges with optimism and an open-mind. Resilient leaders are not afraid to try new things. They understand failure isn’t a final outcome but a stepping stone to a bigger understanding of what works and what doesn’t. They are willing to try new strategies, listen to differing opinions, and make changes when their ideas aren’t working.
Minimize Leadership Turnover
Preserving low turnover isn’t as simple as it once was, not when you can walk across the street and find another job comparable in pay and benefits. It takes more than just a nice office, a fresh culture, and steady pay and benefits to keep people on board these days. That is because regardless of where they work, leaders are being confronted with demanding schedules and workloads.
It turns out that 33% of leaders at organizations with 100+ employees are currently looking for a job at another organization, and this number has been rising since spring 2013.
The key to keeping your leaders on board is investing in their ability to have a resilient outlook on work. And emotions and sentiments about work are contagious. Your managers’ commitment to your organization will be a beacon for your entire staff.
Leaders Are Ill-Equipped to Succeed
Did you know that two thirds of managers do not feel comfortable communicating with their employees?
Managers are typically promoted due to a job well-done in a lower position that oftentimes has little authority over others and especially little experience with delivering unpleasant news or feedback to others. Then, they are suddenly thrust into a position dedicated to providing difficult news of change initiatives, layovers, performance reviews, etc.
Resilience training for managers allows leaders to learn how to be optimistic in times of uncertainty and not only bounce back from setbacks, but bounce forward, which is transmissible to your entire organization.
Give Your Managers the Tools to Allow Your Organization to Thrive
We’ve only scratched the surface in discussing the various tasks that managers and leaders are responsible for, but the role of a manager or leader doesn’t have to be a difficult or unpleasant job, it’s all about the mindset of those doing the job. How your leaders view their responsibilities is incremental to how they perform. You wouldn’t expect your five year old to know how to tie his shoes without any proper training, don’t assume your managers have the knowledge to surpass challenging obstacles without resiliency training. Give them what they need to succeed and your organization will reap the benefits.
Resilient leaders are those who adapt to changing circumstances and environments with ease and finding the complexity of their jobs to be stimulating and gratifying. Reinforcing your managers with the tools to view change as a positive or an opportunity for growth is a crucial skill for a successful organization.
Learn how resiliency skills help managers and their teams better respond to changes in the workplace.
This on-demand webinar looks at the science behind leadership and resilience and reveals easy techniques to overcome negativity and improve our mindset and leadership techniques that make an impact