Resilience is an important part of the 7 Steps to Purpose. Thought you might find this recent case study interesting:
I am a long-time Steve Jobs fan. For years I’ve admired his vision and brilliance
as both an inventor and entrepreneur. Now, his passing has me thinking about his
resilience, not just in his long fight with pancreatic cancer but throughout his
entire career before and during his tenure at Apple. Jobs clearly displayed the
strengths of a highly resilient person. Here’s where I think he might have
scored on the 7 Elements of Resilience:
Emotion Regulation –
Probably below the norm earlier in his career, and well above it in more recent
years. He had a reputation as a hothead in his younger days but over time he
obviously figured out how to stay cool under fire.
Same as Emotion Regulation, because how we think
drives both what we feel and how we react – especially in tough situations. I’m
guessing that Jobs gained some conscious control over his thinking which in turn
allowed him to use his emotions and behavior for greater effect and with less
Causal Analysis –
Most engineers/inventors score high here and I think Jobs would have as well. This
critical ability to accurately and comprehensively determine root causes of
problems would have enabled him to tackle complex technical challenges, learn
from his mistakes and ultimately create incredible
Self-efficacy is a core strength of entrepreneurs; there’s no doubt Jobs would
have been off-the-scale high on this measure of self-confidence and belief in
his ability to handle the challenges that came his way.
Again, I predict a high score here, perhaps even a
bit on the unrealistic side. Our work has shown that unbridled optimism can be a
drag on resilience – extreme optimists tend to minimize risk and get blindsided
by the bad stuff. However, in Jobs’ case, his high Causal Analysis would be a
nice counterbalance to this.
I’d figure on a fairly low empathy score. As brilliant, analytical, focused, and self-directed
as he was, the ability to read the emotions of others was probably not his
Reaching Out –
Ultra-high Self-efficacy, Optimism and Reaching Out are the “trifecta” for
entrepreneurs, so I’m betting that Steve Jobs would have scored high on this
factor too. The ability and desire to tackle new challenges and opportunities
was apparent throughout his career.
A final note: Every article I’ve read about Steve Jobs in the past week speaks to
his passion and connectedness – the more passion and purpose you bring to your work, and the
greater your belief that your work makes a difference, the more resilient you will be. Period.
(From Adaptiv Blog Post of Oct 10, 2011)