THRIVE: Leading Change, Building Resilience

A Series on Thriving, Part Five

By Lou Solomon

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In this series, we’ve looked at the “pandemic wall” of job burnout and its threat to our well-being. We’ve explored what the experts are saying, and the way some of our favorite people are coping. In this final part of the series, we look at what leaders have learned and what they can do to prepare for the future.



More than 60 years ago, Douglas McGregor published his groundbreaking book, The Human Side of the Enterprise. McGregor believed in the human approach to business. He is credited with the birth of the “human relations movement.”

McGregor’s book was met with criticism in his day, and since then we have made progress but we have also stalled out on a regular basis while moving toward enlightened leadership of human beings.

Judging by the way things have gone over the past year or more, we are about to gain ground. The pandemic has taught us that we cannot get complacent about the well-being of employees. We have to expect the unexpected; because when it happens, we can’t jump-start resilience among employees and expect them to carry us through.

Resilience Process: Respond, Recover and THRIVE

Deloitte has put forth the idea that resilience plays out over these three time frames: respond, in which a company deals with the present situation; recover, during which a company learns and emerges stronger; and thrive, where the company performs at a new level in the “next normal.”

Resilience Process toward Thriving - Spark

How do resilient leaders first respond to crisis? Quickly and with compassion. This means connecting with the hearts and minds of people, and personalizing the experience of change.

What happens in the Resilience Process?

Last year, resilient leaders offered support immediately, recognizing the worry over school closures and loved ones getting sick. Communicating more frequently, taking safety precautions, providing flexible hours, making resources available — these are all part of the response phase.

Still, within the Response Phase, some leaders are staying current by giving people the resources they need to learn about mental health and the real danger of burnout.

In the Recovery Phase, leaders go straight to re-centering the company on its road map and purpose. Employees need a sense of purpose if they are to stay the course. This phase must start from the top and cascade down, with clear and heartfelt language.

What else should happen in the Recovery Phase? Development. Every great leader understands the importance of the so-called soft stuff: empathy, committed listening, coaching, and articulating a company purpose that is grounded in strengths — and connecting.

Today, nothing is more powerful than the human connection. After all, to THRIVE means to feel good about life and the people around you; to have meaningful work and a sense of moving forward; to feel hopeful about the future. People who are thriving are more resilient when the unexpected happens again.

Let Interact Help You THRIVE

At Interact Studio, helping people THRIVE is our business. We provide meaningful learning experiences in communication for individuals, teams and organizations. For 20 years, we’ve partnered with global leaders who understand that this kind of development puts an engine behind performance.

We’re excited to announce our FREE webinar, SPARK: Communication Tools to Ignite Change on Thursday, June 10, at 2pm EST.

Hero's Change Journey - Struggle then Suffer then Overcome then Connect then Thrive - Spark your resilience and ability to thrive.

The Hero’s Change Journey is a pictorial chart of how employees travel from Struggle to Thrive. Everyone is at a different point in their journey. People will progress and backslide. Knowing where your Hero is on the Change Journey will give you insight into how you will guide, communicate, and connect.

In SPARK: Communication Tools to Ignite Change, we will take you through the five phases of the Hero’s Change Journey above, and share ways in which you can personalize the experience and motivate people forward. We will also unpack your tool kit: Empathy, Story, Strengths and Connections. All to help you “spark” the beginning of your journey toward thriving.

REGISTER today for our free one-hour virtual webinar, SPARK: Communication Tools to Ignite Change on Thursday, June 10, at 2pm EST.

A Spark Starts a Thriving Fire

Our full-length virtual workshop, THRIVE: Leading Change in Turbulent Times, is the deeper experience and exploration of the tools you’ll preview in our Free virtual webinar, SPARK: Communication Tools to Ignite Change.

In THRIVE: Leading Change in Turbulent Times, you will:

  • Understand the Journey of Change we are all traveling; develop Empathy for individuals who are at different locations.
  • Learn to integrate Story to communicate purpose.
  • Develop greater possibility and well-being by choosing the Strengths Mindset for yourself, your team and your company.
  • Explore how making Connections through curiosity, questions, respect and committed listening builds trust.

REGISTER for THRIVE: Leading Change in Turbulent Times, an interactive virtual workshop on Wednesday, June 24, 1:00-4:00pm EST.

See How Others Are Thriving

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Rahm Emanuel used this expression during the great recession of 2008, suggesting we have a grand opportunity to learn from a crisis. However, history credits Sir Winston Churchill with first saying it in the mid-1940s as we approached the end of World War ll.

The year gone by has dramatically changed the leaders who choose to learn from the pandemic. In the months ahead they will build resilience and prepare for the future by putting people first.

Throughout the course of this series, a few of our favorite leaders showed us how to thrive over the past year. Read their stories by following the links below:



Some Closing Thoughts


In the resilience process, you respond, recover, and ultimately, thrive. We want to help you get started on your own resilience process by taking you through the 5 stages of the Hero’s Change Journey. We can take that journey together at our new FREE webinar, SPARK: Communication Tools to Ignite Change on Thursday, June 10, at 2pm EST.

That webinar will lay the building blocks for our latest virtual interactive workshop, THRIVE: Leading Change in Turbulent Times, happening Wednesday, June 24, 1:00-4:00pm EST.