How resilient are HEADWAY readers?
The answer is pretty resilient, according to the results of our recent survey. Moreover 75% of the 234 high achievers surveyed electronically by AHEAD in September 2010 consider resilience a very important trait in today’s postrecession workplace. You have to ‘move forward fast, even after failure,’ advised one.

head_a10_1Resilience is succinctly described as the ‘strength to bounce back from adversity’. With its origins in physics, the word stems from the property of materials like rubber that return to their original form or position despite the impact of external forces. A sort of unrelentless elasticity, if you like. Truly resilient people though seem not only resistant to adversity but also derive energy from the experience, which they later draw on.
Most respondents were complimentary about their boss, with over 76% describing his or her resilience level as high or quite high. ‘My boss had a clear vision of what was required to keep the ship afloat. He got his team on board and that’s what gave him strength.’

That said, most assessed themselves even more highly with 93% rating their resilience level as high or quite high: ‘Resilience is one of my strengths, as in my life I’ve experienced enough challenging situations like divorce, illness and changes at work, that have reinforced this strength.’ ‘Multiple stressful situations have made me pragmatic and confident.’ ‘You have to be able to cope with constant change in this era. Flexibility is key.’

‘It is no surprise that this audience really enjoys new experiences and ideas,’ notes AHEAD’s Managing Partner Guy Vereecke, ‘and sees themselves as particularly well organised and reliable, as well as collaborative with others. Indeed some psychologists suggest that highly resilient people tend to be more collaborative than competitive. ‘However more detailed analysis of our results reveals that those who considered their resilience level to be highest also described themselves as highly competitive,’ explains Guy. ‘Interestingly those with quite low resilience levels were significantly less competitive too.’

Meanwhile, at corporate level, it’s encouraging that 70% of our sample described their company’s level of resilience generally as high or quite high. As one manager from the FIAT Group points out ‘Look at where they were in 2002-3, and where they stand today.’

AHEAD is a leading search firm specialising in high achievers. Headquartered in Brussels, we were formerly YESS International Brussels, created in 1990 by Egon Zehnder International.  Today AHEAD forms part of the extensive network covering Europe and beyond.
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