Australasian Mine Safety

Autumn 2020

Australasian Mine Safety

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FEATURE INTERVIEW SAFETY Please tell us a little about yourself and how you found the importance of resilience in your own life? I am (usually) a keynote speaker and author of a best-selling book called 'Her Middle Name Is Courage – How Self-Leadership Transforms Pressure into Performance, Chaos into Clarity, and Rage into Resilience'. Right now though I am on a crusade to make sure organisations and their people are resilient enough to come out of these stressful, uncertain and changeable times. This is being achieved through my various digital education solutions. The reason this is so important to me, is because unfortunately I have learnt the hard way what happens when you haven't built enough professional resilience, leadership resilience and organisational resilience during a crisis. You see about 20yrs ago, I started two organisations from scratch. The first one was a health, fitness and education company that I began in my stinky garage with $200 worth of second- hand equipment. I grew it, hired fabulous people, won awards, moved to bigger and better premises 3 times, became president of the industry body and sold it 17yrs later for the price and terms that I had asked for. I had built an incredibly resilient and successful organisation in one of Australia's most transient industries. The second one was a not-for-profit in Vanuatu that positively impacted thousands of adults and children with literacy and girl's empowerment projects. Unfortunately though, I had not applied all my tried and tested business strategies to this organisation, so when I was a victim of a violent crime and I needed to take some time off to recover from the PTSD, crippling insomnia, physical pain from the injuries and the deep levels of stress that I was experiencing, that company didn't cope. It soon became apparent that it was not resilient enough to keep operating during my recovery time and I lost everything. 13yrs of hard and impactful work. But, as we know, out of tough times, out of crisis, out of adversity, good things can happen. And the hard lessons that I learnt from that experience have inspired me to support organisations and their people to build their resilience so they can navigate their way through a crisis. A crisis just like this one. What's it really mean to be resilient? Resilience means you can recover from adversities, bounce back after setbacks and keep moving forward in a positive way. I like people to think about their resilience like a bucket and the water in that bucket representants all their strengths and capabilities. When life is good, your bucket feels strong and sturdy and you are on fire. But when life gets a little wobbly (like now) our buckets become vulnerable, little rusty holes start forming, and all our strengths and capabilities start leaking out. At work we feel lethargic, can't focus, make poor decisions, dangerous mistakes, get teary over nothing, cranky over nothing and forget to follow life- protecting occupational health and safety procedures. Work is hard when we are not physically and mentally at our best. At an organisational level, when we start to get rusty holes in the buckets of our organisations, we lose our best people, waste hard-earned revenue, damage our brand, and miss profitable opportunities. What do you see are the key challenges, particularly at this time, in being resilient? We have had months of stress here in Australia. Crippling droughts, heart- breaking bush-fires, mini-cyclones and now a global pandemic. Many people are unaware of the impact that all of this AMSJ spoke with award winning author and resilience expert Heidi Dening about the importance of resilience as we face COVID-19. Tough times don't last. Resilient people do. "When life is good, your bucket feels strong and sturdy and you are on fi re. But when life gets a little wobbly (like now) our buckets become vulnerable, little rusty holes start forming, and all our strengths and capabilities start leaking out." HEIDI DENING, SPEAKER & AUTHOR AUST R A L AS I A N M I N E SA F E T Y J O U R N A L / Autumn 2020 / www.amsj.com.au 14

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