Resilience: Bonus Information by James K. Dittmar, Ph.D.

I stated in a previous blog about becoming Resilient that it’s more than just a laundry list of things to check off and “shazam” — you now have resilience! Rather, a significant part of this process usually includes going through the meat-grinder of real-life. As you work hard to deal with those major challenges, you can at that time really benefit from the attitudes, activities, and behaviors that I encouraged you to try as a means to develop resilience in yourself and others.
Here are a few more thoughts that may help–three to be exact. I call them the “3-Ts.” Each one helps to create the context in which Resilience can live and grow. They are TRUST, TRUTH, AND TRANSPARENCY. All three are connected and support the strength and impact of each other.

Warren Bennis once referred to trust as “the emotional glue that binds leaders and followers together.” If leaders and co-workers are to emerge from the fires of crisis, stronger and more prepared for the next set of such challenges, they must trust one another. Building that capacity–resilience–requires leaders and co-workers to believe in and support each another in times of trial.

Trust flows from truth. It’s the belief that what leaders are telling co-workers about the crisis–the causes, the necessary responses, and how they can get through it–are real and genuine. And it’s leaders knowing that the feedback they receive from co-workers is the same. Without truth-telling, trust is broken and made even more difficult to repair during times of crisis.

It’s one thing to know the truth. It’s another thing to share that truth. Leaders must be willing to share the truth with co-workers about what is happening and what needs to be done in order to not only survive but be better equipped to take on the next crisis. When leaders are transparent, co-workers can be much more objective in evaluating the pros and cons about their leader. If leaders are transparent, especially during the worst of times, they actually strengthen their leadership as co-workers begin to trust them as persons and thus will respect them more as leaders.
I’ve witnessed recent examples of leaders doing a great job of using the “3-Ts” during our Covid-19 crisis. And, some not-so-good examples. You may have, too. The difference I’ve seen is evident in their co-workers. The good examples have organizations in which the people are positive, optimistic about the future, and productive. As you evaluate your own resilience level, don’t forget the importance of the “3-Ts.”
Jim Dittmar

James Dittmar is the Founder, President, and CEO of the 3Rivers Leadership Institute, through which he creates and delivers training and development that is transformational. Prior to this Jim founded the award-winning Geneva College M.S. in Organizational Leadership Program and served as Chair of the Department of Leadership Studies and Director of the M.S. in Organizational Leadership Program until 2015. Should you have any questions, comments or feedback, please contact him at