To build resilience, we should be neither Nero, fiddling away while Rome burns, nor Chicken Little, always proclaiming and anticipating disaster.
Absent an infallible crystal ball, how do we decide what capabilities to build and how to prepare ourselves? For myself, I answer the question in part by borrowing from a book by my late partner, mentor, and co-author, Roger Fisher, which he wrote with our mutual colleague Scott Brown, Getting Together: Building a Relationship that Gets to Yes. Derived from decades of work on superpower relationships, the book laid out a relationship-building strategy the authors called “unconditionally constructive.” In essence, we should do those things that are good for building the relationship, and good for us, whether or not our counterpart reciprocates.
In turbulent times, I suggest we apply that advice by focusing on those capabilities that are good for us and good for those we also need to thrive along with us, whether heading into tough times or relatively calm and prosperous ones. Though not an exhaustive list, a handful of skills jump out for me as meeting this bar.
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