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The Q's of Qlick: Resilience
‘The Q’s of Qlick’, is a series of interviews in which we invite inspiring business leaders for a conversation on leadership. We consciously chose these leaders because we believe they each have a particular skill in the different competencies of 3D-leadership.
Today I am interviewing Mella Pieper, the owner of Embello, a communications agency in the broadest sense of the word. From the start of the interview, it is clear that Mella has high energy which she needs to juggle her many different responsibilities. Our topic today is resilience.
What is resilience?
At Qlick, we define resilience as the ability to bounce back. It is ‘the reservoir’ of mental and physical strength that you build up for when things become more difficult.
Mella uses an interesting metaphor. She describes resilience as the ability to pivot, a basketball term. When you pivot, one foot stays on the ground while the other moves around so you can look at which direction you want to go.
As Mella describes, the foot which stays on the ground gives you stability. You need to know what you are good at, what you stand for. With the other foot you move around; it is the interplay of both which gives you resilience.
How does Mella build up her resilience?
Mella talks about the importance of knowing what you can and cannot do. Surround yourself with good people for those things you are not so good at. Know who has the energy and knowledge to nurture you.
She also mentions that personal resilience is the starting point for professional resilience. Basic things like eating well, exercising, sleeping well, taking care of your mental health. Mella stresses that mental and physical health are intertwined; one cannot exist without the other.
As practical tips to, for example, sleep better, she mentions that she often listens to a podcast to focus her mind and prevent it from worrying. To my surprise, she also mentions that she is training as a goldsmith as she stresses the importance of doing something with your hands. Her love for craftmanship shines through.
What are key tips she would give to other leaders on how to build up their resilience?
Mella suggests having a back-up plan and not staying in a one-way street. It is important to know what you are good at and to know what other opportunities there are.
You are most likely good at multiple things. Mella advises trying out new things and broadening your catalogue of possibilities.
I see the link with the eternal student, another competency of our 3D-leadership concept. When you have a back-up plan, she says, you probably also sleep better at night.
As a nice example of broadening this catalogue of possibilities, Mella talks about her passion project, the conference she organizes for stationery and paper planners (Plannercon Europe). She ‘beams’ as she talks about this.
Some key takeaways and additional input on the topic of resilience
Based on my experience as coach and trainer, I am happy to offer a few more recommendations to help you increase your resilience:
- As a leader, surround yourself with people who you trust and who give you knowledge and energy. Know who these people are.
- Spend some time to reflect on what is important to you and make sure you devote a sufficient amount of time to this. This is the one foot which stays put during pivoting if we stay with the basketball metaphor.
- In processu tempus mirandi. This was the Latin saying of my father’s family, meaning that we should take the time to stop and wonder as we are moving through life. We build up our resilience by appreciating the small wonders of life.
- Nature is nurture. Build up your reservoir by focusing on the basics! Sleep well, eat healthy, focus on your mental health and constructive thoughts, go into nature…
- Start with micro changes. You build up your resilience one step at a time. Every small change maintained over time builds up your reservoir.
- What do you wear in the morning? We focus on which clothes we put on in the morning but we forget to consciously put on the right mindset for the day. Is this a day where we need our convincing power? Decision making power? Reflective mood? If we start the day by consciously putting on the right emotional state, we will build up our resilience.
Build up your resilience by being inspired by Mella’s energetic insights and watch the full interview.