I’ve spent all of 2009 with my head deep into research, writing, and speaking about dealing with change and adversity, personal growth, and leading ourselves and others “above the line.” That path inevitably leads into the critical topic of resilience. As the old truism reminds us; it’s not what happens to us but what we do about it that determines our happiness, success, and even health.

Here are a few resilience nuggets I ended up publishing in Growing @ the Speed of Change:

“Really negative events have the ability to shake up the status quo in your life, which opens the door for change. You could become a depressed, despairing drunk – or you could become a much better person.”
W. Keith Campbell, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Georgia

“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.”
Dean Becker, President and CEO of Adaptiv Learning Systems

“Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air. Others do not…We all know people who, under duress, throw up their hands and cry, ‘How can this be happening to me?’ Such people see themselves as victims, and living through hardship carries no lessons for them. But resilient people devise constructs about their suffering to create some sort of meaning for themselves and others…an increasing body of empirical evidence shows that resilience – whether in children, survivors of concentration camps, or businesses back from the brink – can be learned.”
Diane L. Coutu, “How Resilience Works,” Harvard Business Review

“The leaders I met, whatever walk of life they were from, whatever institutions they were presiding over, always referred back to the same failure, something that happened to them that was personally difficult, even traumatic, something that made them feel that desperate sense of hitting bottom — as something they thought was almost a necessity. It’s as if at that moment the iron entered their soul; that moment created the resilience that leaders need.”
Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Founding Chairman of The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California

“I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?”
Yogi Berra (1925 – ), former Major League Baseball player and Manager