Every business faces problems. Right now, businesses need leaders who can guide them into the unknown with clarity of vision and purpose, even if they can’t see where they are going.

One of the most critical parts of getting through difficult times is leading your team.

I was a guest speaker during the 4A’s (Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies in the Philippines) membership meeting.

The participants were CEOs of significant corporations and agencies in the Philippines who wanted to manage change or be better leaders. They wanted to help others, stay on top of their game, and stay engaged.

I’ve always been interested in discussing resilience. I’ve always believed that we can influence and shape the environment. Our surroundings do not control us. It begins with the way we think and progresses to the decisions we make every day.

Resilience is not only being able to bounce back. It’s being able to respond right away to complex situations. Sometimes during these situations, your body has a fight, flight, freeze response. That’s normal. Sometimes people have delayed reactions. They respond but it takes a while, and it’s very emotional.

But you can’t stay in the situation for a very long time. People depend on you and the business as well. You must decide fast, correctly, and accurately as a leader.

As a leader, resilience starts with you. It’s important to ask yourself these questions.

    • Where am I now?
    • What do I need?
    • What is important to me?
    • What’s difficult for me?

There must also be a lot of self-reflection, especially in a complex environment, because you bring that with you as a leader, and people see that. They experience that in meetings or wherever you are. You get to experience how you show up.

So it spills over to the interactions you have with people. You must be very careful and aware of where you are, what you need, how to take care of yourself, and how to return to stay at the top of your game.

It’s important to ask yourself these questions.

    • Are you able to manage your thoughts and your feelings?
    • How will you help the organization?
    • How can you decide to look at the bigger picture?
    • What is best for the organization or your team?

It’s good to think of it as outward also because it helps you look at things from a bigger perspective.

There is no perfect process for handling complex situations. It’s like a scientist. You experiment, and you don’t know what will work. It’s all about a trial and error, and it’s OK to do that.

You’re learning about the environment and can’t say you know or master it. The only way for you to master it is through trial and error. So, you begin, you end, you start again. It has to be that entire process.

I like using the word experiment because it’s gentle. It’s very realistic about the situation. It’s easier to work with that word rather than being pressured by the thought of telling yourself, “I have to change, I have to do this, or it’s so hard, or it’s so complex.”

When I use that word, people become creative in finding solutions.


Here are 5 key strategies to be a resilient leader and build resilient teams.

#1. Lead with curiosity.

Curiosity starts with a beginner’s mindset.Coach Anda

When you’re curious, you’re like a kid with no judgment. You wonder. And when there are no judgments and no assumptions, there are a lot of things that you may not have seen that you can.

Sometimes, we don’t see the bigger picture because we have filters. So, it’s essential to lead with curiosity in resilience because everything is new or everything is different. Everything may not be something you expected, and that’s okay.

A beginner’s or learner’s mindset says, “I’m going to learn from this. This is going to make me a better leader. How will this make my team a better team?”

So it’s shifting your mindset to something more positive regarding your relationship with resilience.


#2. Create new identities.

There are faces in our lives as a leader. What we were five years ago differs from where we are today.  – Coach Anda

During the workshop, I made the participants come up with ways to describe themselves. For example, I’m going to be like a conductor in an orchestra. So I have to conduct everything and make everyone collaborate in harmony. Or I’m going to be an activator or initiator.

When you’re not able to define what kind of leader you should be, you can come up with descriptive words, or you can come up with action words that symbolize the leader that you need to be in the coming years.

I always look at it in terms of the next five years. What do you want to be known? And you live by it every day when you wake up. When you do things before the meeting, you think about that word and ask yourself, “Did I become that leader?” You become more deliberate and can correct if things aren’t going as planned.


#3. Lead with emotional intelligence.

Lead with emotional intelligence is having empathy for yourself and other people. – Coach Anda

People go through different phases of change. Even if you’ve maybe moved forward with change right now, meaning you’ve accepted everything, there may be people who have not accepted it yet. Have a dipstick and find out where the team is and where individuals are so you know how to help them as a leader. Be able to know how to motivate them, understand what their triggers are, know what stops them, and know how to maximize their strengths.

It’s all about starting with the emotions, understanding where they are and what they need.


#4. Create a safe environment.

Creating a safe environment allows people to challenge you, ask questions, and express themselves. – Coach Anda

These are essential in creating a safe environment, but people often feel awkward about them and avoid discussing them.

But if you start it, encourage your team members to start it, and check in on each other, your team members will learn to open up, speak up, and challenge each other.

I was doing a coaching session with the leaders of one company I have worked with before. One strategy we devised because of the coaching session was to teach people how to communicate during tough conversations. We created a challenge session in which everyone was free to challenge what everyone said at the end of the meeting.

That was a good start. You must train people because not everyone is good at conversing and understanding one another. When you do this, you have better conversations where people can ask each other questions. The leader creates that environment together with the team.


#5. Focus on people strategy.

A business strategy is incomplete unless it includes a people strategy. – Coach Anda

As a result, you must ask questions like, “What is my engagement program? How have I structured the organization to focus on people’s careers or development? What about succession planning?”

These are critical questions, but there is so much more where you can focus on people’s strategies. When you focus on your people and connect with them, they become more open to you. They become more responsible.


When leaders show support throughout the organization, teams become more resilient.