Productivity

Cultivating AGENCY

6 steps to activate agency and move from fragility to resilience to anti-fragility.

Resilience: The new watchword

Resilience. We need it now as much as we’ve ever needed it.

Organisations and the individuals in them are facing unprecedented change.

The physical, mental, and emotional impact of this change isn’t always easy to spot.

Nonetheless it’s present. And it’s taking its toll.

From well-being to productivity, the impact is far reaching, catalysing unprecedented shifts in organisational culture.

The agency solution

If we're not resilient, we're fragile. And we can't increase our resilience by simply trying not to be fragile.

The solution? Agency.

Resilience is a by-product of agency.

We move from fragility to resilience by cultivating our agency.

Through agency, we identify our sphere of control and operate firmly within it – no matter the situation.

AGENCY…

Action

Get Big

Energise

Nothings Impossible

Celebrate

You

1) Action

Action is the keystone of agency.

Without action, nothing happens.

Action is the application of knowledge and skill.

It takes us from 1st creation to 2nd creation – from the mental to the physical, imagination to actualisation.

Teams achieve goals not by contemplating the steps to be taken, but by taking the steps themselves.

And leaders transform their teams by embodying the virtues they wish to instill – they act first so others can follow.

 

2) Get big

The science is in on the power pose - physiology drives psychology.

This isn't new to athletes.

Olympic sprinters act as though they've already won the race before the start gun has even fired.

Our mentality starts with our physicality.

Worryingly that also means the 'iPhone stoop' is real – as devices get smaller our posture is contracting.

Upgrading our physiology is simple.

We take moments to stand up, lift our heads, stretch out our arms, and look away from our screens.  

 

3) Energise

We can’t think ourselves out of a negative frame of mind.

The harder we try, the further we travel a downward spiral.

We break negative states by energising ourselves through renewal.

Renewal comes in different shapes and sizes.

It’s idiosyncratic.

It can be physical. It can be emotional. It can be spiritual.

Identify your energisers. Prioritise them.

Then identify your enervators and remove them from your life.  

 

4) Nothing's impossible

The most successful teams take on challenges worthy of them, not the other way around.

Worthy challenges are those where the objective isn’t in plain sight.

It’s distant.

It’s obscured.

It’s not clear how you’ll get there.

These are Over the Horizon goals – a hallmark of high-performance teams.

And progress towards them is built on a foundation of belief.

Self-belief within each individual. Belief within the team.

Belief that no matter what obstacles are ahead, they can be transformed into fuel for forward motion.

 

5) Celebrate

Chances are we weren’t here first.

Whatever our adversity – someone’s probably been here, they’ve toiled, they’ve succeeded.

We can draw encouragement from them.

Even better – we can draw encouragement from ourselves.

We tend to forget the challenges we’ve already overcome in our own life.

And we almost never celebrate our private victories.

Let’s recount our wins, celebrate them, knowing that whatever the situation demands, we are already capable.

 

6) You

It starts with you.

We put the oxygen mask on ourselves first.

Lead by example.

 

Beyond resilience

When we are fragile, we break easily.

When we are resilient, we withstand greater pressure.

But when we are anti-fragile, nothing can break us.

Anti-fragile means unwavering self-belief.

It means an intense focus on what’s important now.

It’s grounded firmly in reality – drawing insight and learning from the setbacks we inevitably encounter.

Anti-fragile. It's the ability to alchemize any adversity into growth and progress, knowing there is no obstacle so great we cannot conquer it.

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