Building resilience in times of uncertainty

Wayne Hoyle and fellow Extreme Leader, Alan Chambers MBE, will be providing the closing keynote at September’s Annual European Conference – How To Be An Outstanding Leader In A Crisis: Preparing For The Unexpected. 

Ahead of this inspirational session, there is little Wayne hasn’t experienced in leading people through crisis, often in the most demanding of situations. Read his blog below about three key elements to maintaining and building resilience.

About the author:

Having commissioned through the ranks, Wayne is a highly decorated former Officer in the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF). He has more than 30 years’ experience in operating in adversity, in the most challenging of situations, and in some of the world’s most hostile environments. He was involved in every major conflict since the mid-80s’ and held a range of key appointments, both in combat and at headquarters level, including a two-year command assignment with the United States Special Forces.

Building resilience in times of uncertainty

11 August, 2020

Thirty years ago, if any of my comrades came to me with talk of PTSD or Burnout, I would have told them to dry their eyes. I was ignorant, naïve and very wrong. In my many years as a special forces operator, I worked with some of the toughest and strongest men you could imagine, and I saw some of them reduced to a shadow of their former selves as a result of mental ill health.

Any organisation is only as strong as the collective resilience of its members. Only by understanding that we have shared areas of strength, and by building awareness of potential areas of vulnerability can we keep our teams’ integrity, and subsequently support one another to build the foundations of a sustainable, high performance culture.

External pressures can be constant, and there’s also the pressures that come from within, the pressure we place upon ourselves. We are diligent, conscientious, we don’t want to let anybody down, and then there’s the “F words” the Fear of Failure

If we maintain an optimal balance between pressures and capability, we could remain effective and perform at the highest levels indefinitely – but maintaining this state without support is difficult. We will all at some stage, to some extent, take on more than we can manage, or we will be burdened by additional external factors beyond our control, and we can begin to suffer with illness, anxiety and depression.

Here at The Extreme Leaders we have identified three elements to maintaining and building resilience;

  • Physiology – The ability to recognise the signals from your own body, the importance of diet, sleep, exercise and social support.
  • Healthy choices– Both at home and at work will help maintain that optimal balance and prevent burnout.
  • Finally, Mindset– How we see things, our attitudes towards the challenges we face will have a profound effect on how we cope with them.

Taking those foundations and drawing on our collective experiences of resilience and performance through adversity, we have developed a series of online programmes and tools to help individuals, teams and whole organisations to become more resilient. We call it Extreme Resilience.

As leaders, we must now look over the horizon and be prepared for what will most likely be a new business landscape. In our experience those organisations who invest the time, effort and resource into preparing their teams today, to hit the ground running tomorrow, will be the ones who most quickly turn this unplanned stagnation into growth. Be sure you’re ready to grab the initiative when the gates open. Those who invested in their teams and developed new strategies during the 2008 financial crash, were the ones that thrived beyond it. It is not the strongest that survive, but those who most readily adapt to change.

All the best,

Wayne Hoyle


For more information click here, or if you are interested in The Extreme Leaders delivering something for your business then please contact us.


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