Burnout is real. Numerous surveys and studies report an alarming epidemic of burnout amongst leaders across the globe. Burnout is a painful personal experience and has detrimental effects on employee retention and company performance. The Covid-19 global crisis has upended the world as we know it and has highlighted the significance of personal and professional resilience. It is what has given rise to the evolution of Resilient Leadership. 

This concept of resilience has become a hot topic of late, but what exactly does it mean? In my coaching work, resilience refers to the capacity to prevail in the face of stressors outside of your control. Resilience is less about avoiding stress than the ability to bounce back from stressors and maintain a sense of physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual equanimity. Resilience requires a consistent commitment to practice and understand how to build a mindset for success, the creation of rituals and practices to cultivate the energy you crave, and better integration between your professional and personal lives. 

Mindset for Success 

Your mindset forms the basis of how you experience success in every aspect of your life. As science confirms time and again, your mind and body are wholly interconnected. Resilient leadership is built on the awareness that cultivating a mindset for success is essential for the kind of results you want to achieve. 

In her seminal book, Mindset, psychologist Carol Dweck presents solid research proving what many of us understand intuitively: “…the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.” People with a fixed mindset perceive traits and abilities as predetermined, or as Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.” Those with a fixed mindset often see failure as being due to limited abilities and typically experience criticism as a personal attack. However, a growth mindset views traits, abilities and intelligence as dynamic capacities that can grow with nurturing and structured investment. 

Cultivate the Energy 

Contrary to popular belief, your most valuable currency is not money or even time. It is understanding how to expend the energy you have in the time available. Excelling as a leader requires you to manage your energy and ignite it for sustainable peak performance. Most of us view energy as an endless resource and treat ourselves and others like human doings rather than human beings. This reflects a dangerous misunderstanding of energy. To understand how energy relates to resilience it helps to distinguish between three types of energy: 

  1. Personal energy is like an internal reservoir that requires daily replenishment as levels become depleted.  
  2. Interpersonal energy is derived from relationships with others and is gained or lost due to the quantity and quality of those connections. 
  3. Universal energy is free, accessible, and available to be drawn from at will, even when time and resources are scarce.  

Better Work-Life Integration 

As with resilience and mindset, cultivating work-life integration to achieve peak performance takes awareness, effort, and ongoing practice. That’s where coaching can be a tool for enhancing integration and peak performance. Sometimes an outside, objective perspective offers insight and accountability that can propel you to that next level. Honest self-assessment is a solid first step toward thriving. 

Leadership is never easy; its demands can be steep – especially in terms of lifestyle sacrifices. Resilient leadership calls for greater levels of alertness, energy and self-awareness to lead with alacrity, purpose and authenticity. Resilient teams and organizations are built on the solid foundation of a healthy, supportive culture. Making a positive change in that culture starts with you, whether you’re in the C-suite, a cubicle, or are active in your community; you lead from your chair, wherever that chair happens to be. 


Download Barbara’s latest report, The Future of Resilient Leadership: Mindset, Energy and Work-Life Integration, a guide to help you cultivate a new kind of ROl and lead from your chair, wherever that chair happens to be. 


  • Barbara Waxman

    Leadership Coach, Gerontologist, Life Stage Expert, Angel Investor

    Barbara Waxman MS, MPA, PCC, founder of Odyssey Group Coaching, is passionate about building leaders’ personal and professional skills to increase their ability to manage complexity with sustainable high performance while expanding their influence and impact. With more than two decades of experience as a Gerontologist and coach, Barbara’s work has culminated in the transformative coaching model Entrepreneurship Turned Inward©, the science-based Five Essential Elements© process, and the new report The Future of Resilient Leadership: Mindset, Energy Management, and Work-Life Integration.  Barbara serves as an Advisory Council member to the Stanford Center on Longevity, a master faculty member at Chip Conley’s Modern Elder Academy and an angel investor in the Active Aging and Longevity Fund of Portfolia. She has appeared on CBS This Morning and numerous podcasts.