by Dawn Y. Graber

Metal coils pic for resiliency blog

Even our nation’s endearing Dr. Fauci has said he realizes he has to slow down from engaging in the urgency of our national situation and practice more self-care. Dr. Fauci is the 79-year-old director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has been a part of President Trump’s almost daily updates on the Coronavirus pandemic. In the 21 Mar. NY Times Editorial by Maureen DowdDr. Fauci realized he can’t work 18-hour days on end and survive on 3 hours of sleep. Actually, he credits his wife for helping him regain some personal margins to lead our nation in accurate and actionable steps in fighting our current pandemic. Are you caring first for yourself in order to build the resilience necessary to continue leading in this fight a month, three months, a year from now?  

As a leader you have already been identified as one who can rally the troops, circle the wagons, light some fires, and cross your T’s while dotting your I’s. To put it bluntly, YOU are the person for such a time as this. Even as you are tempted and see nothing other than L-O-N-G days in the immediate future you need to commit to building your resiliency to keep leading into the summer and beyond. We don’t know exactly how long our refashionedalternative ways of being in the business world, schooling, religious, and community aspects in our life will last. But your organization and your relationships need you fully in the game, which in the meanwhile may mean figuring out, also, what it means to walk away in order to first take care of yourself.  

One of my teachers and a faculty member of The Coaching Institute at Columbia Theological Seminary says RESILIENCY is “...the ability to bring energy- mental, spiritual, physical and emotional energy- to our lives, and particularly to situations that are difficult- that signifies resilience.” (Dr. Laurie J. Ferguson, PCC) No one would disagree that these last few weeks and the unforeseeable future will bring new challenges for leaders. Even as I write, my family members work associations in Ohio, Indiana, and Florida are facing non-essential closures and are feeling the heart-wrenching decisions of lay-offs and personal income loss. Others employed by businesses defined as essential wonder if they are continuing harm’s way while living amongst their quarantined loved ones.  

The awesome nature of resiliency and the message for today is THAT YOU CAN BUILD YOUR RESILIENCY! It’s reservoir within each one of us that fills and empties. It’s a muscle that fades and can be strengthened. It’s a flame that burns brightly and flickers softly. It’s not an innate quality you either have or don’t have. Resiliency has its Latin roots meaning to bounce back again, to re-bound, recoil, spring back. Like Dr. Fauci realized he had to miss a few White House Briefings, get his power walks in, and sleep more hours - you, too, can make a plan for THIS WEEK and then next week and the weeks after that will help build your resilience to lead your organization.  

We know we are to put on the oxygen masks first before trying to help someone else and yet we find it difficult to choose ourselves (Dr. Fauci said he felt “guilty!” when he couldn’t answer his 727 emails at midnight). As leaders it’s unnatural to put ourselves first even for a short while because the action of doing so makes us feel we’re inconveniencing someone else. But I encourage you to make plans to engage in self-care practices for the purpose of building your resiliency. In doing so you can have the confidence you need to be ready to meet whatever comes in the days ahead. 

Look for future posts from me describing self-practices you may consider adding to your daily regimen to build your resilience. I have ten categories to suggest. I look forward to you adding to this important discussion of how to increase our resiliency in such a time as this. 


         Photo from licensed subscription from: 123RF

Dawn Yoder Graber
Post by Dawn Yoder Graber
March 25, 2020
Coach to Rising Women Executives & Energizing Educator for your Team’s Targeted Learning Opportunities.