27 Practices Resilient Leaders Use to Thrive

Survive to Thrive

Struggles, Difficulties & Challenges

Someone once told me that people identify more with your struggles than your successes. It’s true for me, too. It’s hard to identify with those who have seemingly had win after win with no knowledge of the effort it took to make it happen. If you talk with any successful person long enough, you start to uncover the difficulties, the challenges, the struggles, and the failures that happened along the way.

One of my entrepreneurial friends, Faisal Hoque, has a new book out about resilience. Faisal and his co-author, journalist Lydia Dishman, share what they learned studying leaders who have thrived in the midst of adversity.  Survive to Thrive: 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, And Leaders is a journey into resilience.

Faisal recently shared with me more about his latest work.



What is your definition of resilience?

Resilience is the universal human capacity to face, overcome, and even be strengthened by experiences of adversity.


“Resiliency is the belief that you can conquer anything.”




Is it possible to learn to be more resilient?

Along with our own life experiences, Lydia and I have examined the stories of a variety of leaders who faced ill health, professional setbacks, emotional loss, and a host of other life-changing events, in order to illustrate how each achieved personal transformation and success by mining their own resilience.

Each story focuses on one of nine essential principles needed to overcome adversity and seize opportunities:


  • A person people can like and love
  • Loving and empathetic
  • Willing to be responsible for what I do


  • People I trust and who love me, no matter what
  • Role models
  • Health, education, and support


  • Communicate
  • Manage feelings and solve problems
  • Seek out trusting relationships

Offered as affirmations for success, we outline take-away lessons and daily practices that can be incorporated in your own professional journey.



Of all of the daily practices you outline in the book, what three are ‘must do’s’ for everyone?

Skip, as you know from your life’s journey, each person’s experiences and challenges are uniquely theirs. And life – personal as well professional – hardly has a formula. What we tried to do is provide contextual learning.

For example, in one of the chapters, we have summed up three key concepts necessary to becoming more authentic and resilient through self-acceptance:

  • self-love
  • self-expression
  • self-confidence

faisal.hoque300dpi2013By practicing self-acceptance, we discover the complexities of our emotions, vulnerabilities, and imperfections. And this is what creates our true authenticity. When we decide to embrace our authentic self, we give ourselves the opportunity to grow.

In an attempt to make these daily practices sustainable for our readers, we have also created a resiliency app.   The Survive To Thrive free app can be accessed at www.SurviveToThrive.pub.


“Reinvention is the essence of the resilient mindset.”



 You say reinvention is the essence of the resilient mindset. Why? How does someone reinvent themselves? 

When we focus on our weaknesses, we end up smothering our potential, preventing it from manifesting. To survive, and ultimately to thrive, it is our duty to rise again and again. Changing self-doubt into self-belief is a choice. We are answerable for ourselves. Only we can change what and who we are.

A constant reinvention process is a combination of inner and outer awareness. We need to know what our timescale is for what we’re doing; we need to know how the competencies we’ve built can extend in new directions; and we need to attend to how our work/life fits into the larger world. When we do all three, we can be confident, committed and flexible in the value that we repeatedly create for others and ourselves.


“No one succeeds in a silo.” -Faisal Hoque


What advice do you have for someone who doesn’t have the circle of support you talk about in the book?

It doesn’t matter how smart or savvy we are when it comes to technology, product development or any single skill. Nobody succeeds in a silo. Whatever we venture–personal, professional, philanthropic, political, or private–we must remember the people involved in and essential to our success.

We have to learn from our own mistakes and mastery, learn from the people around us: those we admire now and those we may learn from just by listening. We never know who may inspire and influence us. We do a disservice to ourselves when we don’t push harder to nurture those surroundings. It’s particularly hard to create a new support structure when we are struggling — but there is really no alternative for survival.   We have to find the strength from within.

Survive to Thrive - Relient Attitude


“A constant reinvention process is a combination of inner and outer awareness.” -Faisal Hoque


“Changing self-doubt into self-belief is a choice.” -Faisal Hoque


Survive to Thrive: 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, And Leaders


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