Resilience in Leadership

5735988842_0b59e0cdb3Throughout my life, as a child, a teenager, a young adult, and as a professional, I continue to rely greatly on my resiliency.  Resilience is such an important factor that allows me to continue to be a positive person and not overwhelmed by negativity or disappointing situations. For those of you who may be unsure, resilience is defined below:

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Resiliency is essential for professionals in leadership positions.  According to Dan Holland in his blog post entitled, The Importance of Resilience in Leadership, Dan says:

“Change in the workplace is inevitable, and it can knock even the most seasoned leader off their feet. But leaders who are determined to bounce back after a setback and deal effectively with the changes are the leaders that inspire team loyalty.”

As leaders in education, resilience if important in everything we do.  


We often take risks that may or may not work out. We are actually leaders in risk-taking 5720531093_21985d26c2_band if we are not, we should be!  If we want our educators to take risks in what they do within their classrooms, then we must model this. Along with risks though, sometimes comes failure. But, as a resilient person, this “failure” is actually a learning experience. We learn from all our mistakes and failures. As a resilient person, we get up, dust ourselves off, reflect, change, and start again.


4791822776_ff00bf47c6As educators, we often willingly hand out trust to people others may not. This is a big part of our job. We need to trust that our parents are doing the best they can to support their children. We trust that our teachers are positively influencing each student in their class. We trust that they are doing their best to meet develop relationships and meet the individual needs of their students. We trust that our students are doing their best with what they know and the abilities they have. We trust people. We trust the agencies who deal with our families. We trust. That is our job. Sometimes, our trust is broken.  Often our trust is tested. We must not, however, let that impact us in our future actions. We must continue to be trusting of all. Our trust must be resilient.

Disappointment and Rejection

At times, we work hard and in trying to best meet the needs of our students, we put 4791193883_496c429d6fourselves out there in different ways. We may try to have vulnerable conversations which may or may not be well received. We may ask for help from others who give us not so good advice. We may complete different grant applications, grant proposals, or even job applications which may or may not be successful. We often put our heart and soul into our work as leaders in education. It is a big part of what we do. It is an important part of who we are. In doing so, however, we can feel deep disappointment and rejection when things do not go the way we hope. We must be resilient in these situations. We must rise above these times and know that these things happen for a reason and that it is all okay. Resiliency.


As educators, we often hear the very sad stories of many of our families. Stories of abuse. Stories of rejection and abandonment. Stories of neglect.  Those stories are very difficult to hear and to witness. Each and every one of those stories break our fragile heart that cares so much. Each of those stories though, renews the need for us to be resilient and to model and teach this resilience to others.

As leaders in education, a big part of our job involves our ability to be resilient. Our ability to stay positive and move forward is essential to our effectiveness as leaders and educators.  So, when you find yourself in a position where you feel overwhelmed, hurt, frustrated, and you might just feel like throwing in the towel, remember you have students and other educators relying on you. They are relying on your leadership and ability to move them forward in the face of challenge.

How resilient are you?

How do you maintain your resilience?

How do you model resiliency?

How do you teach others to be more resilient?

Published by Tia M. Dawson

There are many things that define who I am as a person. First of all, I am a mother of 3 wonderful children! I can not express how fortunate we are to have our children in our life! Secondly, I am an elementary educator who recently returned to the classroom after 12+ years as an elementary school administrator. Lastly, I am passionate about helping others, learning about abuse, helping others in abusive relationships, and helping others understand their worth.

5 thoughts on “Resilience in Leadership

  1. Hi Tia,
    Yourr comments about trust really resonated with me. I am a real Pollyanna (I think we’ve discussed this before!) and tend to think the best of everyone in their intentions and actions. I have had my trust broken and even so, it hasn’t changed my outlook on people. I can’t imagine how we could do the work we do and be in a people oriented field if we lost that.

    1. Hi Carol (or should I say Pollyanna),

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this post.

      Yes, I think we are very much alike in many ways and this is one of them. I also feel that people are just good. We must trust and know that if we get that trust broken, we just carry on and rebuild. It’s okay. It’s actually very important in the work we do. I can’t imagine our work without trust.


  2. I really enjoyed this post, Tia, and your questions at the end about resiliency. I think being resilient is so important. When reflecting on my own resiliency, what stands out for me was becoming more knowledgeable about what I was experiencing. So, educating myself about systems and protocols and policies. Once I felt comfortable and more confident in that knowledge, I found it easier to manage situations. I share that knowledge with others and encourage them along their journey, too. No point in keeping this stuff to myself! Trust is huge, as is forgiveness – each of them sometimes difficult to achieve, but so important. I’m not sure I will ever be able to completely “forgive” some situations, but I have certainly reflected on them, reflected on how I could do things differently and then moved on. I carry the remaining hurt with me, but not as a detriment to myself. That hurt I carry is my motivator – it pushes me forward on my path and reminds me why I do what I do. Thanks for this post, and encouraging me to reflect on what resiliency means to me.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Resilience is so important. Growing up, I never really understood it. Well, not until I did a university paper on it while doing my Bachelor’s degree. At that point I delved in, in an effort to better understand my why and how, and did a 15 page paper on Resiliency. I just recently came across that paper again!

      Yes, I agree, I know that forgiveness is very important, but not so sure that I can completely forgive certain things. Definitely, I will never be able to forget, that’s for sure. It is important not to let that hurt stifle who we are and what we want in our life and in the lives of our children (just as you said). Reflection is so very important in our effort to not have these things carry forward with us.

      Thanks again,

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