By voicing their recent decision to step down from senior duties, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made executive decisions about their lives that display resilient leadership and are aimed at safeguarding their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Bio-Mastery for Business CEO, Barbara Parker, says Harry and Meghan are not overwhelmed by the stressors around them that might force less resilient people to compromise in making healthy life choices.
“They are making decisions that teach others how to manage ‘bullies’. They have chosen to voice their unhappiness and physically remove themselves from the proximity of their bullies – the media – and to continue to turn up for work, on their own terms.”
She says people who display resilient leadership have the ability to be authentically themselves and display vulnerability. “Being authentically yourself means being able to accept your humanity and not pretend you are a superhero, that you are coping when you are not coping, or that things are okay when they are not okay.
“When Harry and Meghan opened up about how they felt about being hounded by the media, they were showing their humanity. This is a significant departure from the British stiff-upper-lip way in which royals are expected to behave.”
Bio-Mastery for Business posits that a good leader in battle does not pull the wool over peoples’ eyes, but creates opportunity out of adversity. “Good leaders are able to own their fear, but still commit to doing what needs to be done to tackle challenging circumstances,” adds Parker.
She believes Harry and Meghan are at the forefront of resilient leadership. “When they showed emotion and aired their misgivings about the media for everyone to see in the documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the royal couple revealed exactly what their stance was. They were authentically themselves. They said the situation was unacceptable, they were very clear about what they were not happy with, who was making them unhappy and the impact it was having on them.”
Anyone who is being bullied now has a formula on how to manage his or her bully: call the bully out, say “this is not okay”, acknowledge how he or she is feeling and then take decisive steps or actions to deal with the bullies or change one’s situation.
Parker says Harry and Meghan should be commended for their resilience and ability to show their emotions without letting these emotions become their master. “Their recent decision to choose a lifestyle that suits them better is courageous rather than weak. It should be applauded and not denigrated.”
She draws a parallel with resilient leadership in the workplace. “Business is evolving and we have to accommodate this new face of leadership. We cannot put leaders in charge and create unrealistic and false expectations. The so-called trappings of success – cars, clothing, expensive holidays – as a reflection of one’s status as a leader is a slippery slope of misconception in the business world of the future.
“Resilience has nothing to do with external trappings. The illusion of success is as archaic in business today as is the flint axe. Leadership is everything about what goes on within an individual and how he or she can stay the course in the face of opposition,” adds Parker.
By adopting a resilient leadership role, Harry and Meghan inspire trust in the long term in the consistency of their characters and make known their unwillingness to compromise their sense of right or wrong in order to keep the peace.
“There is no peace in the new economy. There is only stress and the ability to survive and thrive in that environment. And Meghan and Harry have a given substance to what leadership should be. They are making it real and becoming role models,” says Parker.
“There are those who find this change unpalatable and difficult to accept, but it’s the way of the future and we must explore the nuanced elements of this new leadership and embrace it rather than dismiss it,” she concludes.