10 Tips to Build a Resilient Mindset in 2021

Jan 6th, 2021

Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Nelson Mandela


One thing 2020 has taught us is that change is constant, and as 2021 begins, the new lockdown has confirmed this. To succeed and thrive, as change continues this year, a resilient mindset is essential, since our mindset influences our ambitions and decisions, and the way we lead and motivate.  In December, I was invited to speak to the Federation of Independent Agents on ‘the Mindset of Executives in 2021’ where I shared insights on building a resilient mindset and business.


One key component of resilience is agility, and the entrepreneur mindset has been very much in evidence over recent months. I have seen first-hand how business owners and their teams have worked tirelessly to adjust and reset their business model to cope with a changing marketplace.  A seasoned CEO client in the property industry is bringing every ounce of his experience to thinking outside the box and addressing the challenges his business is facing. His mantra is that ‘nothing lasts forever: bad times don’t last forever so during good times, prepare for the bad times, because nothing lasts forever’.


Values of courage, strength, but also support and empathy underpin his words. I believe that the core values of a company really show through when the marketplace throws a curveball and companies are increasingly recognising the importance of well-being and investing in their people, offering them the tools and support they need, particularly as remote working is set to continue.


Resilience training is now a common request and integrated into coaching and leadership programmes. Consumer goods giant Unilever, for example, has recently launched a mental wellbeing resilience programme to enhance employee engagement and the wellbeing of its 62,000 global employees. Of course, one size will not fit all, flexibility and timing are important and one of my clients, an entrepreneur with ambitious growth plans, has offered one-to-one coaching to their team, in a tailored programme that I have developed to be available as and when they wish to access it. It is their choice, and many have found processing their thoughts confidentially with a trusted confidante, particularly at times when they feel stuck, renews their motivation and drive. This investment in them has increased loyalty and commitment to the business and its growth.


Fostering that commitment is especially important in times of change and even more so at the beginning of a year, when many people review their career paths. Ambitious people have a mindset of growth and at a time when companies are restructuring and looking to build the best teams, it is essential to engage your best people and make sure you have those career conversations that can prevent the unexpected loss of a valued team member.


Resilience is an important resource for both people and organisations, so here are 10 tips to help you and your business prosper in 2021.


1. Begin the Year by acknowledging success

No matter how last year was for you, you have learned invaluable lessons professionally and personally. Many of my clients have worked hard and are now refining their strategy and plans for 2021. Take time to acknowledge the successes achieved with your team so you all have a record of them. And remember your team at home.  A client recently acknowledged how much his wife had contributed in 2020, juggling the birth of their new baby while he was navigating a new leadership role during Covid. These conversations can have a significant impact on you and those who have supported you.


2. Clarify Priorities

Professionally and personally, know which activities are most important, and where you should be spending your time. I encourage my clients to continually ask, “If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to?” Being clear on priorities, especially as the boundaries between work and home become less clear, will reduce overwhelm and you will feel in control.


3. Take action

When you have encountered some obstacles or a slow-down in business, you may begin to lose faith in your vision, procrastination can creep in and you can begin to simply coast. Find a goal that excites you and that gives you the courage to carry on and take small steps to restore your faith in what is possible. It is amazing how momentum can build when you take action every day towards a meaningful goal.  What is yours?


4. Keep close to your clients, old and new

During the first lockdown, I created a 4-module virtual programme on Leading in Turbulent Times for a team of Directors in the property industry who wanted to build resilience and make the most of the opportunities and challenges ahead.  During the module on ‘Generating Income and Building Client Loyalty’, we focused on applying simple habits, including picking up the phone and having conversations with former clients who they had lost contact with. In a progress review 4 months later, one Director reported generating £80,000 from this single habit, and it has now become a consistent focus throughout their region.


5. Pay attention to your people

Your time and attention are your greatest gift.  In my work with one team recently, I asked “What is the one thing your Directors could do for you that would add the greatest value?” I was struck that they all praised their company’s Founding Partners for the time and effort they made to contact them personally on a regular basis. That attention meant a great deal as many felt isolated working alone from home without the usual team banter and networking with colleagues.  It made them feel valued, motivated them and increased their loyalty.


6. Retain key talent by succession planning

A high achiever in the finance industry recently resigned after being offered a role with more growth opportunities.  As their employer did not want to lose them, they offered them a significant promotion to try persuade them not to leave, but it was too late for this executive, who had the integrity to honour the commitment he had made to his new employers. Had that opportunity been communicated earlier he would not have left.  Early succession planning to develop top talent aids recession-proofing to allow for those unexpected losses at times of change.


7. Create space

I took the time to do some decluttering and reflection over the Christmas period and found it hugely beneficial.  As you open your diary for 2021, schedule regular ‘thinking time’ for the year – one client puts its down as ‘strategy time’ once a week.  This consistent reflective time to read, walk, and quieten the noise around you will often lead to your most creative thoughts, where solutions to pressing problems and new ideas have time to flow.  And make sure you leave time between meetings to clear your head. One of my clients was known for continually rushing into meetings, which not only created stress but impacted their gravitas.


8. Build your own Support Team

As a leader, your role is to deliver messages to build hope and confidence, but you yourself may sometimes feel uncertain and anxious inside. Often, leaders prefer not to share these concerns with their teams, so it is vital to build your own support team – a spouse, coach, peer, or a group of fellow leaders – to process those thoughts in a safe environment.  This will often help you realise that you are not alone in experiencing uncertainty and give you a new perspective, sparking creative thought.


9. Manage your energy

Tackle your most important tasks when you know you are at your best.

Are you a lark or an owl? I know I can achieve more from 0600 – 12.00 than at any other time of the day, while others do their best work in the evenings.  Structure your day to make the most of this.  It is surprising how much more you get done when you tap into your natural energy.


10. Record and plan

We tend to forget how much we have achieved over the years and making a record of our achievements on paper can help us learn to appreciate and build from them. When we seem them on paper, they remind us of what we are capable of and boost our motivation.  It may be the story of your company’s success, or the time you outstripped your individual goals or helped a colleague meet theirs. Use these achievements as a springboard to help you plan for your next achievements, in 2021 and on into the future.

As we embark on a new year to create new possibilities and instil hope and confidence,

I hope these tips will be of value to you, your teams and your business.


For more information on how our programmes can support your success in 2021, contact oona@potentialplus-int.com.


Related articles:


What do I really want? 7 tips on finding the answer that can make your transition a success

If I say yes to this … what am I saying no to?  How clear priorities can bring you balance  

Taking Back Control –because your actions today will influence where you are a year from now