For the Leader in You

How to Be More Resilient and Less Reactive

Have you noticed how some people—some leaders—always seem well-rested even though you know they work harder than most? They never break a sweat and nothing seems to faze them. They handle stressful situations with equanimity and never seem out of control. They are more resilient and less reactive. Since caffeine can’t solve all problems, the real question is: how can you improve your ability to renew?

It’s Not Just About Taking A Vacation

Believe it or not, it’s simpler than you think to improve your sense of renewal. Imagine feeling better, and actually being better, because you regularly renew yourself. Imagine inspiring loyalty and dedication because you never show your stress, or worse yet, take stress out on a colleague. Having a sense of renewal is an essential attribute of those who are more “self-actualized,” meaning that you are more satisfied by your work while you are actually feeling more energized and renewed. You are also less reactive and more resilient. Sound good?

Three Steps to Greater Renewal

To improve your workplace performance, you must focus on what’s called the Renewal Sequence in the Actualized Leader framework. The Renewal Sequence consists of three attributes, one each at the Cognition Level, Emotion Level, and Behavior Level. Considering the attributes in sequence is important because what you think leads to how you feel, which leads to how you behave.

Thus, to improve performance, you generally need to start with the degree to which you are able to have Optimal Time Orientation (“OTO”); then consider the degree to which you Accept yourself; and finally, reflect on the degree to which you enjoy and make the most of Solitude. The attributes are further described below.


Renewal Sequence

Cognition Emotion


Optimal Time Orientation

You live primarily in the present.


You totally and completely accept yourself—flaws, limitations, the aging process and all—and fully embrace your reality, not fighting, ignoring, or denying it.


You are comfortable being alone and cherish, rather than avoid this time. You don’t passively pass the time; you actively plan, reflect, and renew.


Remember, you have the freedom to choose your response, attitude, and approach to anyone or any situation. While it may be difficult to simply choose to improve your sense of renewal, if you unpack what it takes, it can be quite simple. All you need to do is improve your OTO, Acceptance, and Solitude. I’ve provided a few suggestions in the table below:


Performance Sequence


Emotion Behavior

Optimal Time Orientation

Listen to others, focusing on the core message and the person’s feelings and needs with respect to a situation.

When you are distracted by the thought of a task, write it down and then continue working.


Choose to enjoy your life, flaws and all. Think about all that you have to be grateful for.


Use the time to yourself to actively plan, reflect, and renew. Engage in an enjoyable activity such as exercise, reading, or cooking.


Interested in your confirming your leadership style, shadow, and the degree to which you are self-actualized? Take the Actualized Leader Profile short form at For more information about the unabridged version of the Actualized Leadership Profile, which provides your score on the Nine Attributes of Actualized Leaders, including the Confidence Sequence, Performance Sequence, and Renewal Sequence, contact me. I’d be delighted to share it with you!

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