Leaning In – Resilient Leadership

Written by: Kim Yabsley | January 31, 2019

2018 was a tough year for many strong women. Tough times have a way of challenging our resilience, not to mention our leadership. As we approach International Women’s Day for another year, I am reminded of the beauty, depth and value of resilience as a tool, for women, for all leaders, regardless of gender.

Resilience is oft touted in the narrative of corporate circles but rarely understood. It’s hard core and not at all for the faint hearted. It’s far more important to culture in our organisations than we give it credit for. 

Resilient culture is the kind of working environment where we prioritise connection, communication, contribution. Where relationships strengthen outcomes, where insight leads to action, and enhanced outcomes. You simply can’t build, change or sustain culture without a genuine people-first approach.

Resilient leadership is about more than just pushing through, dragging our people along until we find ourselves at the other side of difficult times. It’s about truly inspiring others to reach within. As leaders, we all want to see change at the group level, but the truth is that insight starts with individuals. It starts with us.

Creating resilient teams requires presence, empowerment, expansiveness. It’s about the kind of next-level integrity that accompanies a genuine calling to learn from experience and ignite that desire for growth in others. It is about authenticity and emotion and the integration of who we are and what we do. 

Resilience is about capability and capacity. It’s about truly leaning in and allowing life to shape you. Trusting in your innate magnetism and in the process simultaneously. Stepping into your own boldness and beauty and integrating all aspects of yourself to express your leadership in a way that cuts through disengagement, disappears toxicity and claims authentic communication, for yourself and for your teams. 

That kind of bold courage can be confronting. Leaning in requires introspection and self- honesty. As Brene Brown puts it, you gotta “walk through vulnerability to get to courage”.

True resilience is an inner experience. A strengthening of the soul that enhances relationships, encourages action and generates expanded outcomes at the group level. 

Yes, resilience is instinctual for many but it still requires ongoing commitment and the presence to learn from what presents, coupled with commitment to expansion and an unwavering willingness to showing up and doing the work. Every. Single. Day.

It is simple, though not always easy. But I promise you it is an active expression of leadership which will create outcomes at the organisational level. 

Don’t believe me? Try it. I dare you…


Kim Yabsley is an expert in change management and strategic review, using the Cultures of Excellence framework.

For more head to stratcomm.com.au

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