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Joshua Smith: How to Be a Resilient Manager (Ep. #10)

The BetterManager Team
Building Better Managers Podcast Episode 10 - Joshua Smith

Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #10: How To Be A Resilient Manager with Joshua Smith

Resiliency in the face of our constantly challenging world is a necessary skill for all of your managers to possess. Resilient mangers are courageous, determined, purposeful and thrive when adversity and transitions are in play. Joshua Smith shares his unique vision into how to foster resiliency to get real results.

In this episode, you'll learn:

Meet Joshua Smith

  • Bio & Background
  • Philosophy and Influences


  • What's the difference between hard work and grit?
  • Angela Duckworth's work on grit as "passion and sustained persistence applied toward long-term achievement, with no particular concern for rewards or recognition along the way."
  • How does willpower play a role in developing grit?


  • How is being curious an important resilience strategy for managers?
  • How curiosity can lead to psychological safety.
  • Carol Dweck's research on developing a growth mindset.
  • Curiosity helps managers manage more effectively - it keeps an important part of the brain active and online in high stress situations.


  • Doesn't compassion pose a risk to managers when tough decisions are required?
  • Kristin Neff's research uncovered that up to 76% of people actually have more compassion for others that they do for themselves!
  • People who suffer from the Impostor Syndrome are shown to have little access to self-compassion, resulting in feeling "fraudulent".
  • How Self-Compassion, Compassion and Psychological Safety go hand-in-hand.
  • The difference between a "fail fast" culture where we can make mistakes and quick adjustments as part of the process vs a culture that lacks compassion and chastises people for making mistakes, misstatements or miscalculations.
  • Some ways managers can be self-compassionate.


  • Managers often get confused over what they can and cannot control.
  • How do managers set stronger boundaries?
  • What about when manager boundaries aren't strong enough?
  • Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a great model on spheres of influence that has often been used to show how boundaries work.
  • Examples from the workplace.

Energy Surplus

  • Energy Surplus fulfills the physical/biological aspect of resilience which isn't appreciated enough in most resilience literature.
  • Antionio Demasio's analogy: Imagine that energy is money, and all you do is earn enough money to live and just have enough money each month to pay your bills.
  • Equilibrium or homeostasis is misunderstood when it comes to resilience, it isn't maintaining a balance of energy or even "bouncing back" as it's often defined.
  • Equilibrium in resilience is about how to build surpluses of energy, how to build up your "Resilience Bank Account."
  • Ways that managers can work differently to make sure they have a 'credit' in their Resilience Bank Account?

Downloads & Resources

Follow Joshua on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

About Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is the co-creator of The Impostor Breakthrough and Managing Director of Adapt Faster, Ltd. He is an executive coach and behavior specialist focusing on neuroscience-informed approaches to mindfulness, leadership and resilience. He currently coaches executives and teams globally, and leads courses in resilience, leadership, agile team building and mindfulness in trauma therapy. Joshua has completed High Impact Leadership training at the University of Cambridge, has fulfilled programs in mindfulness and neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and has trained in Neuroscience of Leadership at MIT Sloan Executive Education.

Joshua is co-author of The Happy Teacher: 11 Rs Every Teacher Should Know. As a result of his work, he was invited to a White House reception to greet Queen Elizabeth II. Joshua has presented leadership, resilience and team-building seminars around the world.

Joshua is based in London and travels frequently for work in the US.

Episode Transcript
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