Are You Resilient

By Amitabh Jha

About the Author:
Amitabh Jha works with India’s leading Maharatna-BHEL at its Corporate Learning Centre-HRDI (Human Resource Development Institute), at Noida, as Senior Manager. He is involved with various Management & Behavioral Sciences related Training & Development programs and interventions as a Trainer, Facilitator and Mentor. An Accredited Entrepreneurial/Achievement Motivation Trainer, he has conducted sessions/workshops for Executives of Public and Private Sectors, Software Professionals, particularly for Senior Management at ASCI, IPE, ESCI-Hyderabad. His papers have been published in reputed National & International Journals. He can be reached at

“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics and it’s true in the boardroom.”

This famous quote by Dean Becker, President and CEO of Adaptive Learning Systems, an organisation that develops and delivers training programs on resilience, clearly highlights the important of resilience and its relationship with success. Successful people know this mantra of resilience.

While each of us experiences our share of challenging times, not all have the ability to bounce back to the same degree, with the same intensity and that is a crucial differentiator in life. We have outstanding examples of such resilient individuals like Gandhi, Lincoln, Sudha Chandran, Kumar Gandharva, Stephen Hawking…. and many more. They all have this spark of resilience, and are an authentic source of learning and inspiration for us. What is even more fascinating is the ‘ordinariness’ of this psychological attribute which can shape our destiny.

Relevance Of Resilience In Changing Times
Organizations and individuals are under constant pressure to cope with the growing turbulence all around. The world is becoming turbulent faster than organizations are becoming resilient. Strategists Gary Hamel & Liisa Valikangas call it The Resilience Gap in their article ‘The Quest for Resilience’ (Harvard Business Review, September 2003). There is evidence all around us. Big companies are failing more frequently. Of the 20 largest US bankruptcies in the past two decades, ten occurred in the last two years.

Corporate earnings have become more erratic. Even perennially successful companies are finding it difficult to deliver consistently superior returns. In their 1994 best-seller ‘Built to Last’, Jim Collins & Jerry Porras singled out 18 ‘visionary’ companies that had consistently outperformed their peers between 1950 & 1990. But over the last 10 years, just six of these companies managed to out-perform the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The other twelve-a group that includes companies like Disney, Motorola, Ford, Nordstrom, Sony, and Hewlett Packard-have apparently gone from Great to merely OK. Whichever way you look at it, “success has never been so fragile.”

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