Bounce Back Resilience

What is bounce back leadership? In a word – Resilience!!! 

 At the ripe old age of 21, I was blown up in a switchboard, and it really did take a long, long time to come to grips with that incident. I received second degree burns to my hands, face, arms and neck, spent a month in a burns unit, having my skin forcibly removed, and not being able to use my hands (or wipe my bum). It was a tough time, and one I will never, ever forget. 

Yes, I certainly had to bounce back. And, yes, I use that experience now, to help leaders deal with all sorts of issues in their business and in their lives. For senior leaders, life can be a roller coast journey, and without resilience skills, dealing with life’s challenges is very hard. 

So, where do these resilience skills come from. Well, the school of hard knocks is key to resilience (and it is called post traumatic growth). What is also key is knowing that life will throw you some trauma (a crisis, an event or a challenge), at times and with some self-care, and preparation, you will be way more ready to mange those situations!!! 

I certainly have experienced post traumatic growth (explained in the book ‘Building your Resilience’ by Molly Birkholm), and now use my experience to support and coach others through trying times. And, the self-care – crucial, massage, meditation and me time are the 3 Ms (with me time focusing on training for triathlon, which is very calming)! 

But it wasn’t always that way. And, what can other leaders learn from my experience that could help them to be prepared for, and to deal with, life’s challenges … 

1. Don’t supress the trauma/crisis

It has happened, try to understand it, feel it and know that if it comes again you will be stronger for this experience, and ensure that you learn something from the experience. Your subconscious supresses traumatic events (or situations) until you have learnt something from the experience. To learn something, you must acknowledge and understand it. 

I did this and didn’t want to talk about my incident for 10 years. That’s a long time … 

2. Don’t infuse the trauma/crisis 

At the other end of the scale, don’t make the trauma your identity. Try to make it something that occurred, not something that you are. Infusing trauma (cancer, or a business failure for example) might get you sympathy or even special treatment, for awhile, though at the end of the day, you are not what has happened to you, you are someone who has dealt with a crisis, and moved on! 

I did this, too, and became a speaker who travelled the country telling this story. I think my message is bigger than just being burnt (and it can help more people) 

3. Don’t be ashamed of, or embarrassed by, the trauma/crisis 

Yes, this is a real thing, and it can be so harmful to your emotional state. When you are ashamed of something that happened, or something that you blame yourself for, it can be hard to move on, and move forward. Give yourself permission to move on, and to move past the trauma or the crisis. 

For me, I didn’t tell anyone about what happened for what seemed like forever 


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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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