Kristen Lippencott, the wellness program manager for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, tackled the importance of resilience at the 2021 Soirée Women's Leadership Symposium, which included the strength in saying "no," and how to mold it into your purpose. 

Lippencott began by offering a new definition of resilience. Instead of persevering and simply making it, she re-introduced resilience as finding your values, serving your purpose and creating boundaries that allow you to show up as your best self. 

“It’s not just pushing through no matter what," Lippencott said. "The resilience I'm talking about is for those of us that are just trying to navigate life each day.” 

She took special note of the unique circumstances we find ourselves in, pointing out that showing resilience in leadership looks different amidst the changes brought on by the pandemic. 

“A lot of things have changed in the past year. We’ve gotten comfortable at home,” Lippencott said. “Things have become more convenient. Going back, it's about building resilience in having half a team at home, or no team at all.” 

Trends and buzzwords aside, she says identifying your values and funneling them into a purpose starts with true self-care. 

“Self care is doing things that make you feel good all of the time, designing a life that you don't need to escape from.”

While self-care can include bubble baths and candles, it also includes saying no, setting boundaries and delegating. 

“It’s easier to say 'no' when you have a reason, a purpose for doing so,” Lippencott said. “It is hard work. It takes a lot. You’ll fail a lot. But every time you succeed, it feels so much better, life is so much easier."

She suggests starting small. It doesn't have to be solving world hunger. It can be as simple as being present at home through family meals. In short, let your purpose guide your decisions, and say "no" when it doesn’t serve your purpose.

She also offered a potent reminder for leaders. 

“You have to do the same to your employees. You have to honor their purpose when they set a boundary.”

To help translate this practice to everyday life, Lippencott wrapped up by sharing four questions she asks herself before taking on any task:

  1. Does it serve my goal?
  2. Does it serve my purpose? 
  3. What is my desired outcome? 
  4. If I stop doing it or say "no," will anybody notice or get hurt?


To watch Lippencott's full SWLS session, click here


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