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Resilient leadership in times of change


How can personal resilience have an impact on life inside and outside work? How can we develop the ability to manage ourselves in change?

These were some of the questions head teachers explored with Oasis associate Jane Senior at a conference for school leaders in the North West.

Recognising that courage and resilience are needed to lead schools in times of change, the focus was on stimulating thinking and debate on the issues.

Jane said: “We also focused on taking small steps to improve personal wellbeing and identified that there needs to be a commitment to action rather than an aspiration. We also discussed how easy it is to put everything and everyone else before our own needs to keep healthy and sane.”

On the day heads shared ideas and identified common challenges. Participants used the Evolve framework, which Jane developed through her work as a consultant and coach with senior managers and executives in the public and private sectors, to understand where to focus their energy to enhance their own or others’ resilience.

Jane says: “Resilience is something we all have or have had. We can develop it in ourselves and others. It can be seen as an example of an individual’s capacity to recover, bounce back or revive from adversity.”

She looked at the factors that affect resilience – genetic, developmental and psychological – and how to make sense of this in a leadership context.

Key questions included:

  • How can I live my life the way I want to?
  • How can I have the vitality to operate at the pace I want to?
  • How do I ensure that I am giving energy to the things I want to?
  • What changes do I want to make on a day-to-day basis to make a difference?

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Jane Senior

Jane Senior speaks about resilience as a combination of key ‘whole person’ capabilities considering energy management (rather than time) through emotional competence, to core purpose, ordinary caring and the importance of making sense of the world around us.

She is a one-to-one developer and consultant experienced in education, business and government settings. She is also a qualified personal trainer and represents Great Britain in the long distance triathlon age group team.