How Do You Build Resiliency?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Times of stress and rapid change are unique periods. They test our stamina, mental agility, ability to adapt, and our sense of stability. They are also the best times to build resiliency. It seems to be the only way to travel through difficult times successfully. Starting next week, I will be using my daily thoughts to share ways to build resiliency as a person and as a team. Individuals and organizations need to become more resilient to thrive during this pandemic and economic recovery.

Let’s start by defining resiliency. Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. This is a good basic definition. However, I believe it is so much more than that. I use the word resiliency to define the ability to go beyond recovery and toughness to having the ability to thrive by being changed through the process. Resilient people can lead and assist others who desperately need role models and supporters. Resiliency is a quality at the top of the list for 21st-century leaders.

Anyone can teach us resiliency. Examples surround us. Times of crisis give us plenty of ways to examine this essential trait. Let me share an example from my life. My grandmother, Anna, was an early example of resiliency for me. My dad lost his father when he was just three years old during the Great Depression. Anna was determined to keep her three sons together and with her. She moved from the farm to a small house in town that was a converted chicken coop. Anna took a job where she cleaned a doctor’s office each evening. My dad would go with her as she scrubbed the floors each night. She did this for over a decade, taking care of her small family. She was one of the kindest people I have ever known and so giving to others. What has never left me is just how many traits of Anna’s my father has today. She passed it on. Resilient people help other people become resilient. It is clearly a learned trait. One I believe we all need desperately in these times.

If resiliency is so critical, how does one build it? What does it look like during implementation? Can everyone be resilient? What should leaders do to both acquire their sense of resiliency while helping others learn and demonstrate this quality? These are the critical insights I will attempt to share during next week’s daily thoughts.

Before I say goodbye for today, I wanted to thank you for showing me countless examples of resiliency. In my unique roles as MACNY’s President & CEO and a community leader, I get to see and hear about so many wonderful people and companies. I have found it inspiring and humbling to get to learn so much. I witness so many notable examples. And it helps me become more resilient. It also allows me to use this skill with those I care about and those I work with daily. Keep up the excellent work!