Notes on Resilience: 10 Habits to Sustain High Performance – Jo Owen

Last updated on November 5th, 2023.

Link to buy: Amazon
(This is an affiliate link. I get a few cents if you through this link.)

Published / Read: 2019 / March 2023
Intro: The author shares 10 techniques to thrive in today’s world of high pressure and constant interruption.
Would I read it again? Yes. Psychology and self-help paired with leadership advice. Right down my alley. I could also transfer some advice to parenting.

The below notes are not a summary of the book. They are highlighted sentences and paragraphs. Ideas that surprise or resonate with me.

What are the 10 habits Jo Owen speaks about?

  1. Optimism
  2. Emotional intelligence
  3. Fast thinking
  4. Self-belief
  5. Connections and networking
  6. Recovery
  7. Power of choice
  8. Power of purpose
  9. Continue learning
  10. Power of culture
10 habits for a resilient life.

  • Remain calm: Manage and acknowledge your emotion.
  • Avoid short-term evaluation: “Watch the movie, not the snapshot.” You might feel down to a recent event, but if you zoom out on a meta-level and look at your entire life, the perspective changes.
  • Hire for attitude: According to MetLife it is easier to train aptitude (skills) than it is to train attitude (beliefs).
  • Optimism: Optimistic and positive colleagues are normally a joy to work with. Few people want to work with a negative and cynical colleague. Optimists have resilience. They bounce back from rejection better than pessimists who can take it personally and catastrophise.
  • Journaling: Note down three things you have learned or where you made a difference in someone else’s life.
  • Community and surrounding: Opportunities are correlated to the network we maintain. While you may be bound to the local community because of familial responsibilities, you are completely free to choose the online community – chose it wisely.
    Good relationships are about giving support. Never burn bridges
    Being part of a supportive community is a massive aid to resilience.
  • Niche: Stay focused on getting good at one skill – know what brings you energy and learn to do it really well. Persistence and practice. It’s ok to ask for help to get better.
  • Anxiety: If you are never anxious about anything, you probably don’t care enough. Too much anxiety about a big presentation will freeze you with fear, little anxiety ensures you prepare carefully. No anxiety probably means poor preparation leading to regret later. Sometimes you chose the challenge, and sometimes the challenge chooses you.
  • Regret: Use the feeling of regret on how to do better in the future.
  • Leadership: If you come with optimism, hope and a strong sense of self-efficacy, your team is likely to follow you. Have a clear plan for the department. Unclear goals and processes lead to rework and wasted time such as pointless meetings.
    The more senior you become, the more your job becomes selling: you have to sell your ideas and priorities to sceptical bosses.
    Always deliver on your commitments and be crystal clear about them.
    Pick your battles. Be a role model for others.
    Leadership is a team sport and one of your main jobs as a leader is to find and build the right team. (yes!)
    You can only excel in what you enjoy.
  • Mind trap: You are likely to be catastrophising when your internal chatter says always, never, no one, everyone, nothing…
  • Boundaries: How many working hours can you do – week after week – year after year? Assign wisely. A resilient worker is someone who can sustain productivity over a long period. It is better to work smart than to work long. Sleep, diet, exercise and rest are key resources for you in the long term. Be kind to your body. Make walking a resilient habit. The more you do it, the more you will enjoy it.
  • Active listening: ask open questions and paraphrase.
  • Interruption: Interrupted work takes twice as long and has twice as many errors.
  • Change: If you do not adapt you cannot progress or survive in a changing world.
  • Fixed vs growth mindset: If you praise a child for getting something right, the child learns that praise comes from being right. So the child will less likely to take on more challenging tasks where they could fail. On the contrary, if you praise for making an effort regardless if they succeed or fail , they are more likely to take on a challenge. (p.211)

Corina Burri

Corina is a SEO professional from Zürich. Since 2016 she's in SEO and has contributed to publications such as SEOFOMO, Tech SEO Tips, or iPullRank. When not grinding, she enjoys exploring Switzerland with her family.

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