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As a leader, you must help your team build resolve


We all need resolve to face the overwhelming realities of work right now. 

Have you checked in with your team lately? How are they doing?  

If I had to guess, based on what I’m hearing from clients, I’d say your team members are probably struggling right now. So many of our organizations have been through so much change and upheaval in the past year, and there’s still more transformation on the horizon.  

Your team members may have lost family members or friends to the pandemic. They may have been cut off from their normal support systems. They’ve probably been asked to do more, under tougher conditions, than they ever expected. And even now, as we start to return to normal, our organizations are still seeing lots of turnover, lots of transformation, and plenty of pressure to achieve results. We don’t know when these situations are going to change. We don’t know when the pressure will ease. 

We all need not only resilience, but resolve, to get through these challenging times. 


When times get tough, your team can either pull together or fall apart.  

Teamwork is a powerful force. A strong, committed team can accomplish great things, even in the face of enormous adversity. But not every team can pull together under adverse circumstances.  

Accountable teams drive performance in challenging times. My research reveals they share two key characteristics: a strong sense of clarity about the expectations for the team, and a strong sense of commitment to working together to deliver results. These teams are well-prepared for adversity. When faced with a challenge, they know what they have to do, and they are committed to doing what it takes to get results. 

A weak or mediocre team, on the other hand, may splinter under pressure, with team members sniping at each other or reacting with suspicion and distrust when asked to pitch in and help a colleague. Team members might compete with each other, or with other teams, for scarce resources, instead of working together to do more with what they have. 


Building community and connection will help build your team’s resolve. 

Part of building resilience and resolve is learning how to confront issues head on. Denying a problem will never solve it. The people who cope best with adversity face their challenges directly and make a plan to cope.  

Leadership is hard work. And some of the hardest work we do as leaders is to build community, connection, and team spirit. That’s hard work because it requires us to let our guard down and show some vulnerability. It requires us to confront interpersonal issues head-on instead of hoping they’ll work themselves out. It requires us to ask our colleagues how they’re doing and be prepared to hear a real answer instead of a fake ‘I’m fine.’ 

As leaders, we must set the tone and help our teams learn to confront problems directly and work together to solve them.  


Is your team avoiding the hard work? 

In my book, Accountable Leaders, I shared some questions you can ask yourself to evaluate your team’s resilience and resolve: 

  • Does my team see the hard work in their roles as an opportunity to grow? 
  • Does my team remain optimistic in the face of adversity? 
  • How does my team respond to criticism and scrutiny? 
  • How does my team regulate their emotions and reactions to stressful events? 
  • Is my team able to get back on track after a setback or disappointment? 
  • Do team members manage their energy to maintain high performance? 
  • Do team members ask for help and draw on their colleagues for support? 

As a leader, if you see that your team members are falling short in some of these areas, you can help them build their resilience and resolve.  

Start by checking in with them. Listen to what’s holding them back, and accept their negative feelings. Then try to help them reframe the situation—what other resources can they draw on? Who can help? What can they learn from this situation? What new opportunities will open up if they handle this challenge well?  

Can you help your team build resolve?

Gut Check for Leaders


About Leadership Contract

We are Leadership Contract Inc (LCI), your partner in strategic leadership development. We help you operationalize leadership accountability at all levels of your organization so you can drive strategy, shape culture, and spark change.

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