The Resourceful, Resilient And Results Focused Approach

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach is to go through the stages of being resourceful, resilient and result focused. Let’s explore these themes.

Being Resourceful

Looking back, can you recall a situation when you chose to be resourceful rather than resentful? You may have made this choice after suffering a loss, experiencing a disappointment or feeling a sense of injustice.

What was your first reaction to the event? You may have felt angry, hurt or rejected. How did you to take time to heal, reflect and begin to resurface?

How did you clarify the real results to achieve in the situation? How did you explore the possible ways forward? How did you decide on your chosen route? How did you make your action plan?

How did you move into action? How did you get an early success? How did you maintain the momentum? How did you encourage yourself on the journey?

How did you energise yourself before entering the final lap? How did you do your best to finish properly and achieve the desired results? What happened as a result of taking these steps?

You will have your own approach to being resourceful but it can also be useful to learn from other people’s experiences. Al Siebert’s books – such as The Survivor Personality and The Resiliency Advantage – laid the foundations for much of today’s work on being resourceful and resilient.

Al spent over 40 years studying life’s survivors – those who grew when overcoming tough challenges. He initially focused on people that met four criteria:

They had survived a major crisis;

They had surmounted the crisis through personal effort;

They had emerged from the experience with previously unknown strengths and abilities;

They had, in retrospect, found value in the experience.

The situations they faced included sexual assaults, life-threatening illnesses, being prisoners of war, addictions, physical attacks and crippling accidents.

How do people cope with such adversity? Some don’t, says Al. They feel victimised, become helpless or lash out at others. Some people do deal with adversity. Al described some of the steps that such people take.

They stay calm, clarify the situation and chart their strategy. Committing to their course of action, they concentrate fully until they reach their chosen goal. Al wrote: 

They thrive by gaining strength from adversity and often convert misfortune into a gift.

Are life’s best survivors different from other people? No. They survive, cope, and thrive better because they are better at using the inborn abilities possessed by all humans.

They quickly read
the new reality

Survivors have experience of overcoming difficulties in life. They read situations quickly and start considering the consequences. Other people ignore what is happening or bury their heads in the sand. Survivors click into awareness mode and take snapshots of what is actually happening.

They stay calm

Why? They realise it is vital to establish clarity. They must clarify what is happening and then make decisions about the way forward. The best way to do this is to get in the helicopter and take an overall view.

They maintain a
sense of perspective

People who are diagnosed with a serious illness, for example, may reframe it as a project. Looking at it from this perspective, they are able to remove themselves and plan the path ahead.

They clarify their assets. They focus on their relationships, knowledge, talents and the healthy parts of their body. Mobilising these assets, they then tackle the challenge.

They are resourceful and
open to doing anything

Al found that survivors chose their strategies from a wide repertoire of options. One contributing factor is that they have a quality common to many peak performers. Such people embrace what appear to be seeming paradoxes.

They are able to see the big picture and the small details, to be focused and flexible, to be serious and playful. This means they are able to see a wider number of options than people who have been trained to behave in one way.

They have life-competence
that helps them in emergencies

Survivors are life-long learners. Such people tend to be savvy rather than having lived a sheltered life. This enables them to read situations, call on their experience and make decisions.

Moving into action, they observe what is happening – what is working and what isn’t – and are prepared to change direction. This is a great advantage when tackling problems or emergencies.

They totally commit
to doing their best

Survivors make their decision and throw themselves into pursuing their chosen strategy. They employ every ounce of energy to reach the goal. Al described this in the following way.

The survivor way of orientating to a crisis is to feel fully and totally responsible for making things work out well.

Such people often grow from the experience. They continue to expand their resilience and repertoire, but they also develop a sense of perspective about life. Al described them in the following way.

Resilient adults are happy rather than hostile. They forgive instead of holding grudges and are more playful than serious.

They get better and better every decade because they have a child-like curiosity. They ask questions, explore, want to know how things work, and learn valuable lessons in the school of life.

People who do fine work are often resourceful. Sometimes they may also demonstrate the following quality.

Being Resilient

There are many books written about how people can show resilience when tackling challenges. As mentioned earlier, Al’s books provided practical tips that people can use to manage and even grow from such situations.

Paul G. Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer added further ideas in their book The Adversity Advantage. This shows how overcoming setbacks can fuel a person’s ability to produce greatness.

The following section provide an introduction to the book and some of the suggestions the authors offer for managing adversity. You will, of course, adapt these in your own way.

Every person chooses their own way to respond to disappointments. This can be complicated by feelings of injustice, hurt or rejection. A person may need time to rest, reflect and heal.

They can then, at some point, choose how they want to shape their future. This can sometimes include them pursuing the following theme.

Being Results Focused

Great workers are often results focused but it is important to highlight several factors regarding this approach. They focus on what they can control and do their best to achieve certain results.

They can control choosing to prepare properly, be professional and aiming to perform at their best. They can’t always control the outcomes of their efforts but they can control how they respond to different circumstances.

Bearing this in mind, being results
focused in certain situations is aiming:

To build on their strengths, follow strategies that work and do their best to achieve the picture of success.

Let’s look at a specific situation where a person may take this approach. Here are excerpts from a piece Al Siebert wrote to help people who had lost their jobs. The following ideas from his 1993 book The Survivor Personality are still relevant today.

Losing your job through no fault of your own can wipe you out emotionally. How do you find the energy to search for work? How do you deal with your anger? How can you be pleasant, relaxed, and self-confident in an interview when you don’t feel that way?

Here are some guidelines for handling the emotional challenge of dealing with job loss and searching for new employment.

Let’s return to your own life. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to follow elements of the resourceful, resilient and result focused approach? How can you do this in your own way?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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