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How to bounce back from setbacks and resilience in leadership


How to bounce back from setbacks and resilience in leadership | Melissa Hague Leadership Coach & Dare to Lead Facilitator UK

Life, as we know it, is filled with ups and downs. This truth resonates even more profoundly for those in regional leadership positions.


As a regional leader, you navigate a complex terrain where challenges and setbacks are not just inevitable, they’re pretty much part of the job description.


In this blog, we'll explore the art of resilience in regional leadership – the ability to bounce back from setbacks, grow stronger, and lead with renewed energy.


Understanding Resilience in Leadership


Regional leadership is a role of immense responsibility. You manage teams across diverse locations, synchronise operations, and steer your ship through the changing tides of the business world.


But let's face it – setbacks are integral to this journey. Projects might hit roadblocks, team dynamics can shift unexpectedly, and external factors could disrupt even the most carefully crafted plans.

Resilience in leadership isn't about avoiding setbacks - it's about how you deal with them when they occur.

It's about your capacity to regroup, learn, and adapt, turning setbacks into opportunities for growth.


Embracing Setbacks as Stepping Stones


Setbacks are not signs of failure. Setbacks are stepping stones on your leadership path.


The first step towards building resilience is changing your perspective. Instead of viewing setbacks as problems, consider them opportunities to refine your strategies, skills, and approaches.


Let’s not sugar-coat it. The disappointment or frustration setbacks bring can be significant, but don't let them derail you. Every setback allows you to reflect on your leadership skills and come out of it with new insights, skills, and perspectives.


Cultivating Self-Compassion


Resilience isn't about being invulnerable or unfeeling. It's about being kind to yourself during challenging times. As a regional leader, you're used to supporting your teams, but don't forget to extend the same kindness to yourself.

When setbacks occur, acknowledge your feelings and thoughts without judgment. Treat yourself with the same understanding and patience you would offer a valued team member. You are human and you deserve to be treated with kindness, especially by yourself.


Learning and Adapting


Resilience grows through learning and adaptation.

After a setback, take time to reflect:

  • What went wrong?

  • What have I learnt?

  • What could have been done differently?

  • How will I recognise this in the future?


Adopt a growth mindset, where each experience – success or setback – is an opportunity to learn and not one with which to beat yourself up.


Invite your team to reflect too. Openly discussing setbacks encourages a culture of shared learning and innovation. Your willingness to adapt and evolve and be kind to yourself and others sets an example for your team to do the same.


Small Steps Toward Bouncing Back


As you lead your teams through challenges and uncertainties, consider one small yet mighty step toward building resilience – creating a "Reflection and Growth" space. Perhaps this could be a regular meeting where you discuss recent setbacks and encourage your team to share insights and lessons learned.


By normalising discussions around setbacks and encouraging open dialogue, you're fostering a culture of resilience and building a sense of camaraderie and shared responsibility. This simple practice can contribute significantly to your team's ability to bounce back from setbacks collectively.


Your Resilient Leadership Journey

"Resilience is not a destination; it's a continuous journey."

As a regional leader, you can adopt the capacity to transform setbacks into stepping stones toward growth. Accept setbacks as opportunities for learning and adaptation, and remember to practice self-compassion as you navigate challenges.


By leading with resilience, you empower yourself and inspire your teams to face setbacks with curiosity and courage. So, next time you encounter a setback, remember – it's not the setback that defines you, it's your ability to rise from it.


Finally, consider how you could incorporate a regular "Reflection and Growth" session in your leadership routine. Encourage open discussions about setbacks and lessons learned. By doing so, you'll build resilience within yourself and your team, creating a working culture that thrives even in the face of challenges.



Melissa Hague | Leadership Coach & Certifed Dare to Lead Facilitator

About the Author


Melissa is a Leadership Coach and Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator based in Dorset, with a particular interest in supporting people who are stepping up from managing individuals to leading other managers.


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