The 3 Dimensions of Resilience in Leadership and in Life  – what it really means.

Someone asked me today why I was smiling despite all that has occurred in the last 6 days with my father in ICU. I replied that I have a LOT to be thankful for.

There were certainly moments when sadness, grief and shock were over the first emotion (hands down this has been a heart breaking experience) ..however there is one key ingredient within my DNA, instilled from my father himself – and that is resilience.

Resilience  –  noun

1. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

synonyms:  flexibility, pliability, suppleness, plasticity, elasticity, springiness, springgive;

2. More the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.


That’s the official definition..but what does it mean to you?

Resilience is not a buzz word

I have heard resilience the word, emphasised many times over the last 12 months – especially working with corporate clients who have had to restructure, reshuffle and recalibrate in some challenging market conditions.

When we delved deeper into how the message was presented to staff, to stakeholders and how it was shared at home, it seemed so one dimensional to me. Upon reflection leadership teams also come out saying the same. Why has this feeling of resilience not resonated when we really needed people to step up?  

Often when we’re told to be strong, show conviction, to trust the process and not to give up – the detail on actually HOW to be resilient is not provided. 

How could such an incredible word, used across so many moments in time feel one dimensional. What were they missing that made it a buzz word and not something people could really dig into, rely on and find confidence from?

Resilience  contains many facets and whether it’s innately within, or you learn it as you go – it can be an incredibly powerful value to have as a leader in both business and in life.

Tapping into your true potential and strengths:

In today’s blog I want to share with you my personal view about ultimate resilience and how we can tap into it on many levels at home and at work.

My personal mantra that I present, follow myself and coach on, is founded on my view of the 3 dimensions of resilience: Think Like A CEO, Plan Like A Visionary and Act Like a Buddha.



What do you need for you, your family, your business to survive. I can be away from my business to tend to a family crisis and I know I can still deliver for my clients and that operationally we can maintain momentum.

I know what I need for my personal wellbeing, household and immediate family.

What is your base line? 

Think like a CEO. Assess the situation, get the facts and identify those around you who can help without fuss.

We need to think about how we function as individuals and as a team in all conditions. Life is going to throw curve balls and it all comes down to how we deal with them that counts. I like to call it running on base line.

  1. What’s your bare minimum functional elements to get you through.
  2. Who are your core team you can trust
  3. What do you need to function and continue to ‘live’ as a business, person or family.

I know what mine are and I also know who I have around me and don’t hesitate to call when it can provide a true tangible support – even if it’s just knowing someone’s on the end of the line when you need them.



Dealing with set backs and challenges requires a cool, calm approach and more importantly the ability to execute plans and take action as and when required. it is not enough to just function, but we must be able to be strategic, make good informed decisions, lead others around us and operate efficiently. Running around like kermit the frog stressed out is not going to solve the problem.

By all means – be authentic and have your moments when you need to let emotions out – however whether it’s a natural disaster, a family tragedy or a business shake down – do you know how you operate under stress?

I know that I communicate more openly when I have challenges than most people, however that it is not with drama but with a transparency.  Communication is vital. Even if you don’t know updates you can still advise your teams or your family there is no new news  – keep connected.

Don’t stay in the dark. Accept the fact as a parent, a sibling, a manager or business owner you will be a leader and people will be looking to you for support and information.

A good surgeon friend of mine says focus on what you know, be inquisitive about what you don’t,  but do not waste time on assumptions. Facts and stats.

Step up – there is always a solution, always a way forward and you know you are stronger than you ever imagined. True resilience is fuelled by integrity not ego – it is not afraid to ask for help with clarity, or to offer it.  Plan Like A Visionary but don’t get carried away with stories.



The unspoken elements that are often so hard for people to define. This is what sets us apart, our human nature. our kindness, our generosity, empathy, our fortitude and tenacity. Know your strengths, understand how others around you deal with stress and conflict.

A level of personal awareness and accountability is crucial for resilience. Authenticity is leading from within and being strong enough to ask for help, to be transparent about challenges and to be kind to yourself, to others and to the way you view what may be happening around you. 

Pushing down fear, grief, hiding concern and loss is only going to cause issues later. Just be present. Allow yourself to do a chemistry check on how an event or moment really has effected you/others/your business. Then act with dignity, courage and fortitude.

It’s not what happens to us  – but how we handle these roadblocks that count. Be kind to yourself, get rest, don’t blame and consider those around you. Also view the situation with kindness rather than frustration.  If you’re asked to be resilient at work don’t be afraid to ask questions, to put your hand up and to reach out when you feel that you are left in the dark and becoming driven by fear due to lack of information. 

There is always a solution – keep positive and focus on a sense of abundance, of trust and integrity.

This conscious mindset shift creates a completely different road map to resolution and recovery.


Lead From Within and then by example

Great leaders reflect the issue at hand but then proceed with clarity and open communication. So as a leader, a family member or a parent – communicating even when you have no updates is still vital – just remember more people may be looking to you for guidance than you think. Lead by example with empathy and consideration for those around you and you’ll find the path will be much easier.

The most important lesson in life is to know that we must plan for when things are not going right – then when a crisis hits you know you have options available to you.

Often we look back and think how on earth did I handle that? We are stronger, wiser, bolder and more wonderful than we often give ourselves credit for. It’s about creating the space to assess situations and think about others as well. This perspective can make you a wonderful leader for you own life and to lead others.


In summary – to me resilience is not a buzz word for motivation but is a core human value that can lead to remarkable actions, resourcefulness and acts of kindness. We just need to believe in ourselves more. 


Moments that test our will, our vision and our mojo are chapters in our personal history. They help create the people and the leaders in life that we become.

Wishing you a wonderful week and I hope you enjoyed this post today.

Reach out if you’d like to connect, or share your story.

YoursNikkisig in Ultimate Vitality



This post is dedicated to my incredible parents, and to my father. Who at 86 shows more courage, tenacity and kindness than so many people, even when he is facing the very worst himself. An entrepreneur, generous and always hard working  – he continues to shine through extreme challenges and set backs. I’m extremely proud of the values, integrity and work ethic they have taught me and that I am able to carry this legacy through. That my team and I have built a business that’s dedicated to helping others rise to their challenges and reach ultimate vitality in both business and in life.




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Nikki Fogden-Moore Clients Corporate and Speaking