Forget resilience. Successfully prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from adverse situations to thrive in the new normal.

BEAM speaks with Henrik Kofod-Hansen, managing partner of novosensus, a leadership development organisation committed to helping leaders and teams thrive and become more effective. This conversation uncovers how leaders must go beyond rumination to help team members feel strong and confident.

Henrik talks about the distinct difference between resilience and “presilience”, providing practical advice on how leaders can facilitate effective change by augmenting the way they operate. He also breaks down the concepts of defensive pessimism and strategic optimism that leaders may subconsciously employ.

While pessimism is often seen as a negative trait, Henrik explains that defensive pessimism can be a helpful way for individuals to harness their anxiety into positive results. In other words, the idea that “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” can push one to take the necessary steps to ensure it does not go poorly. The upside of pessimism suggests that imagining – and planning for – worst-case scenarios can be more effective than thinking positively.

On the other hand, strategic optimists are people who expect things to go well and who don’t end up fretting too much about the possibility of adverse outcomes. They approach situations confidently without spending too much time beforehand worrying about what could happen.

Leaders can often feel lonely at the top and may be too headstrong to seek help when needed. Henrik uses above and below the line concepts as two of the most fundamental concepts in conscious leadership to illustrate how creating a culture of openness and trust in the workplace allows the team to take risks and encourage support and collaboration.

Below the line leadership occurs when a leader is closed, defensive, and committed to being right. On the contrary, above the line leadership occurs when a leader is open, curious, and committed to learning.

“It is important to be aware that you are stuck in rumination. What is constricting you in a business. It is having the courage to reach out. As an organisation, leaders that get into rumination can affect the team. You need to create opportunities for others to help you,” says Henrik.


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El Kwang

Author El Kwang

Recognised in his global network as an ideas man who sees opportunities in every encounter. He looks for ways to connect dynamic people from across disciplines to unearth the potential for great ideas to become outstanding. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality, tourism and business events industry, both as a content strategist and a designer of immersive experiences around the globe, El established BEAM and built a team of Engagers committed to playing a vital part in ensuring that the world continues to move forward with innovation, growth and positivity.

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