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The Secret Traits of Resilient Leaders

The concept of leadership has evolved beyond traditional domains such as business, military life, sports, and politics, expanding into a fundamental aspect of everyone's life. Leadership has become an intrinsic quality shaped by one's heart and mind—a badge of honor earned through actions and behaviors. It now embodies character, emotional intelligence, and core values, transcending any titles, education, and social or financial status.

While honesty, integrity, fairness, intelligence, and hard work are some of the well-recognized leadership traits, resilient leaders possess a set of secret characteristics that empower them to thrive amidst challenges. These “secret” characteristics are the ones that allow leaders to be more resistant to change and stress, to grow during challenging situations, and to be better role models for those who work or live with them.

The Secret Traits of Resilient Leaders

You might be wondering, why are these traits considered secret. It's because they have often been associated with weakness. This negative connotation is something we've tried to avoid as much as possible. After all, who wants to be perceived as a “weak” leader? But the truth is, these traits, often misunderstood as weaknesses, are, in fact, the hidden superpowers that fuel exceptional leadership. Let's discover together the secret traits of resilient leaders:

1. Kindness:

woman smiling at restaurant
Do you have any of the secret traits of resilient leaders?

Kindness isn't just a virtue; it's a strategic asset for resilient leaders. By fostering a culture of empathy and compassion, they build stronger bonds with their teams and inspire loyalty. Small acts of kindness have a ripple effect in organizations, creating a positive and supportive environment where individuals can flourish. Additionally, kindness has a neurochemical effect on our bodies, making us feel healthier and happier.

2. Self-Care:

Resilient leaders prioritize their well-being, recognizing that self-care is essential for sustained performance. They prioritize a healthy lifestyle, incorporating preventive practices and embracing self-compassion. After all, there's no sustainable success when our minds and bodies are not in optimal condition. The pandemic of burnout is a stark reminder of that reality.

3. Boundary Setting:

Setting boundaries is a mark of self-awareness and strength for resilient leaders. They clearly define and communicate limits, respecting their own needs while fostering a culture of respect within their teams. Mastering the art of delegation enables them to focus on high-impact tasks while empowering others to excel in their roles.

4. Vulnerability

Contrary to popular belief, vulnerability is not a weakness but a cornerstone of resilience. Resilient leaders embrace imperfection and authenticity, creating space for growth and innovation. They view mistakes as opportunities for learning, engaging in regular self-assessment, and fostering a growth mindset within their teams. Removing our masks not only relieves a heavy burden but also gives implicit permission for others to do the same.

5. Asking for Help:

Resilient leaders understand that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. They recognize their limitations and leverage the expertise of others to overcome challenges and drive success. Asking for help requires a high level of self-awareness and the ability to recognize and accept our gaps. But the act of asking for help is even more profound. It demonstrates integrity, maturity, commitment, and grit—an example for those around.

These “secret” characteristics are the ones that allow leaders to be more resistant to change and stress, to grow during challenging situations, and to be better role models for those who work or live with them.

Do you possess any of these secret traits? Are you using them intentionally as part of your strategy for sustainable success and growth? In today's complex and rapidly changing world, effective leadership demands more than just technical skills or positional authority. It requires a deep understanding of human nature and the ability to cultivate resilience and growth. By embracing kindness, self-care, boundary setting, vulnerability, and the willingness to ask for help, you can unlock your full potential and inspire those around you to do the same. So, dare to embrace these secret traits and unleash the resilient leader within you.

Reference: “The 3G Cycle of Life. The secrets for achieving joy, meaning, and well-being.”


Meet the expert:

Miriam Zylberglait MD, FACP, DipABOM is a triple board-certified physician with extensive academic and leadership experience. She completed the Florida Association Physician Leadership Academy and a Fellowship in Leadership Education and development.

Dive deeper into her wealth of knowledge:



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