Verraki talks on leadership resilience, shares tips on building resilience

Leading business and technology solutions firm, Verraki, has identified resilience as the most important skill for leaders, especially during crises, and urged companies to create opportunities to cultivate resilience in its employees.


Speaking during a webinar on “Resilient Leadership in action”, Kelvin Balogun, Senior Partner, Ventures, at Verraki, identified resilience as the most important skill for a leader. According to him, academic depth, knowledge, competence and strong work ethics are critical skills but are not as important as the ability for leaders to absorb stress, recover critical functionality, thrive in altered circumstances, and continue steering organisations and teams towards a determined destination.


Balogun highlighted the attitude of leaders as the primary driver of the emotional balance of their people and stressed their role as custodian for the tonality and energy level of the organization. According to him, leaders have a strong obligation to demonstrate resilience and emotional leadership in restoring the energy levels of the organization, despite curveballs, and ensuring the team continues to perform and excel. He stated that the best-laid plans sometimes fail due to inevitable challenges and the ability to go through the crucible of challenges is the reason why resilient leadership is extremely important.


“For many years, I led fairly significant operations and one of the things I learned as I moved up the organization, is what organizations look for when they want to put people in operating roles of increased importance. I used to think it was academic depth, or competence, or superior knowledge. But after I occupied leadership positions and needed to promote people to critical roles, I realized the importance of resilience. When it comes to determining who to give a chunk of your, for instance, three billion dollars target, that you have to deliver in a year, you realize it is based on how they stand up in the crossfire of dealing with the day-to-day business. You look for a soldier that you know will fight the battle, will not disappoint in the face of fire, understands what responsibility is, can motivate his troops, and can face the challenge of being the face of success or failure” Balogun said.


According to him, resilience can be nurtured. Balogun opined that everyone is a work in progress but the key is going through the crucible of challenges with an awareness that it is a phase that will pass. However, he advised leaders and potential leaders to increase self-awareness during this phase, and become more cognizant of themselves through self-reflection and feedback from others. “There is a connection between the increase in your executive self-awareness, to your ability to operate at a much higher level, and ultimately, your ability to impact the business in a positive sense” he noted.


Balogun advised leaders to build resilience in their employees through communication. He identified the three sides of communication being what you say, what your body language projects, and the actions that you galvanize. According to him, what is said is important, but how it is said is more impactful. He thus advised leaders to communicate authentically and intentionally, affirming that a leader’s actions give the troops confidence and a channel for their energy, kills negativity, and galvanizes the organization to the intended destination.


The Resilient Leadership webinar is an output of Verraki’s Business Resilience and New Growth series, where the company advises its stakeholders on unlocking new sources of growth and value while remaining elastic to unexpected change.