The Resilience Breakthrough opens by a powerful story that almost had me crying on the train. Christian Moore shares his story of academic triumph despite learning difficulties and being told that he would never make it big in his life.
He gets up from the floor and continues to prove his doubters wrong after another knock. Moores explains and defines this ability to persevere despite difficulties in his book.
This ability is known as resilience. It’s something good project managers have, even if it’s not obvious. Moores describes it as follows:
“Resilience means the ability to bounce back when there are many reasons to give up. But you keep fighting. Resilient people have both untapped and tapped resources that allow them to overcome and thrive in the face of everyday challenges, setbacks, and fears.
Where does resilience come?
Moores identifies 4 sources of resilience. These are the places you can draw to feel more capable of dealing with life’s challenges.
Street: The skills you learn from hustling, grafting and working as Moores as a child.
Resource: The ability to overcome challenges by having the resources you need. With the right resources, many project management setbacks can easily be overcome or mitigated.
Relational: This is where you draw your strength from the fact others rely on you, whether it’s your family or your project team.
Rock bottom: When you reach rock bottom and have no other options but to climb up.
How to be more resilient
Moores states that resilience “helps you deal with the day-to-day grind.” It allows you to use every No you hear as an opportunity to fight for a Yes. Moores believes resilience can be taught, but some people are naturally more resilient than others.
Having an open view on life and being authentic can be helpful. This means you won’t put up walls and will be able to deal with problems in a way that suits your personality.
Moores says that being more resilient is about being able to see problems from multiple perspectives and frame them differently. Moores talks about the ability to flip a switch to reframe a problem into a challenge or opportunity.
He suggests that you use difficult situations to improve your ability to focus on what you can do, rather than seeing them as a reason for giving up.
For example, a communication breakdown might be seen as an opportunity to establish new communication channels rather than a failure in a project. While you can see the situation in both directions, a resilient project manager will look at the positives and move on from the problem.
A less resilient project manager might allow the problem to fester and not do anything to prevent it from happening again.
Moores would make a great motivational speaker. Although this book isn’t about project management, it is a great read for anyone who wants to improve their soft skills. I did.