Join me as we explore my latest coaching insights.

How effectively do you bounce back from disappointment or failure? Your answer almost certainly depends on whether you are looking through a lens of problems or a lens of possibilities. Setbacks are inevitable in your life and career, so you must decide on how you respond if you are going to bounce back. Carol Dweck, a leading organisational psychologist, explains the essential difference between these two lenses. Either you see problems, or you see possibilities when faced with adversity. Put another way, you can either behave in ways that reflect helplessness and surrender to external forces over which you believe you have no means of control. Or you can be adaptive and make every effort gain mastery of the situation by believing you are in control of your destiny. For an in-depth review of how these differences play out in patterns of behaviour, I recommend this paper by Carol Dweck.

Succeeding in today’s business environment of ever-increasing pressure and unexpected change requires grit, hardiness and resilience. This post is about resilience. It is the least understood and probably the most important of these three traits because of the dire personal and professional consequences of a lack of resilience. Having grit, hardiness and resilience are essential ingredients of sustaining high performance, but they are not the same. Grit is the will and capacity to hang in there; hardiness is the physical and mental toughness to do so; and resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and stress.

‘Letting go’ is a sequel to my July post ‘Never good enough’, in which I explored the pros and cons of being a perfectionist. ‘Letting go’ is a way to avoid the downsides of perfectionism. While it’s hard to do, its liberating power is a skill every executive can learn to be better at, and from which you too can benefit.

On 5 May the ABC 7.30 Report screened an inspiring interview that spoke volumes about being resilient and adaptable. Leigh Sales' interview with George Miller – the Australian creator of Max Max* – is worth watching to reflect on the merits of being resilient and adaptable in life and career. As an aide-memoire, I have picked out some of George Miller's observations from the interview.