My dear friends, clients and readers:
As a Christmas present to ourselves, my wife and I went to a spa after New Year’s Day to start 2011 with vim and vigor. I got an 80-minute massage from a masseuse who told me her life story of child abuse, a broken home, single parenthood, homelessness, a broken neck in a car accident and how through sheer will power she has rebounded back to being self-sufficient and taking care of her thirteen-year old son.
Despite the grim parts, her story got me to thinking about executives who survive adversity and those who do not. If I had to pick a single character trait that distinguishes exceptional executives and professionals from the not-so-great ones, it would be “resilience.”
In my observations from my advisory perch, what stands out is that the ability to persevere in the face of setbacks, reverses, failures and adverse circumstances is essential to any long-term career and business success. And yes, there are second, third, and even fourth acts if you have the tenacity to recover. Remember the setbacks suffered by Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Richard Grasso of the New York Stock Exchange, and Steve Jobs of Apple. So with that in mind and with that said, may resilience be with you in 2011 as you climb back to even greater achievements. Happy rebounding to one and all.