Resilience vs Strength: Which Is the Best Trait for Success?

Kuty - 7th March 2017

For lunch today, I hosted a small group who were interested in discussing the concepts discussed in the book Whiplash: How to Survive our Our Faster Future

The fundamental concept is that time is perceived as moving faster so certain common sense principles change and sometimes reverse in this new reality.

And in fact, the flip side of time expanding and moving faster is that space is shrinking. The very fact that a group of us from all over the world are having a conversation about the intellectual concepts to further our power in the world is a testimony to that new reality.

In this conversation we were focused on the idea that in today’s sped up time, resilience is more powerful than strength. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from damage. Strength is defined as the ability to withstand a great force.

Because time is moving so much faster, trying to control your situation with overpowering strength is a losing strategy as compared to recovering from damage.

This is the premise we decided to explore.

We had some great sharing and wanted to highlight what our team felt was resilient about Clevertech and our Clevertech teammates.

What traits improve success at work?

  • From New York, I mentioned that our agile process is resilient. Delivering working code so that the business use case can be tested against it without fear or shame that the code may fail, gives us insight to be coded into the next iteration
  • Rena, in Toronto, shared a story about a pottery class where half the class spent its time trying to make one perfect pot. The other half were instructed to make as many pots as they could. No surprise that the “many pots” team not only made more pots, but they also made more perfect pots.
  • Donovan, in South Africa, shared that he felt that the people at Clevertech provided resilience — like a family. Each member on the team filled in for the other when there was pressure on the project.

We had a great segue from Nahuel, in Argentina, where he shared a story about a friend who got a PhD in Physics, but was feeling that his efforts would be better rewarded in computer science. Recovering quickly in his academic pursuits would help him individually to create a better life for himself.

We also speculated how outside interests whether in computer gaming, virtual reality or any productive activity are low-cost ways to create resilience for your life.

Did we reach a conclusion? I believe that the power of navigating the challenges in our lives lies in continued thoughtful conversations.

I hope to continue our thinking together in conversation to help spark new thoughts to help unlock the puzzles that are currently facing us in our projects and in our lives.

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