Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments

We thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with author and workplace culture enthusiast Bruce Daisley; hearing more on the core ideas at the heart of his new book Fortitude — and Bruce's belief that building resilience is best considered a team sport: "It's the strength that we draw from each other."
Meetings
Illustration by Francesco Ciccolella

"From me-ness, to we-ness"

We thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with author and workplace culture enthusiast Bruce Daisley; hearing more on the core ideas at the heart of his new book Fortitudeand Bruce's belief that building resilience is best considered a team sport: "It's the strength that we draw from each other."

🚀 Bruce used his reframing of Richard Ryan and Edward Deci's definitive social psychological theory of 'self-determination' (why we do the things we do) — to argues for three key drivers of the ways we feel: Control, Identity and Community. Bruce sees the latter as the most overlooked when it comes to the proactive building of resilience reserves.

👇 Below we've shared some recommended resources, lateral bits and related experiments — helpful we hope for sharing, discussing and trying new things together in your teams.

Fortitude awaits!

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Illustration by Leilo
"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything."
John Kenneth Galbraith

Bruce advocated for a more intentionally inclusive leadership style, agreeing that facilitating meetings with purpose is becoming a core skill for work today. Meetings and gatherings clearly fulfil the need to create a sense of community, and when facilitated well they enable individual identities to reveal themselves too. Bruce also shared a lovely story from his research of the book about a team member who launched 'crisps Thursday' to do just that.

👉 Priya Parker's book The Art of Gathering builds on this brilliantly, much of which is boiled down in this timely Ted Talk.

👉 You can also hear her discuss ideas and advice is this episode of podcast series Hurry Slowly

👉 Experiment with some Liberating Structures, and Gamestorming.

👉 One of the questions put to Bruce was how togetherness can best be created among teams working in very distributed and asynchronous ways. As well as advocating for the deliberate diarising of 'softer time together', and collaborative tools like Miro and Mural — the potential for mentoring programmes came up (as a drive not just of community but to enable discovery around individual identity). Some good reading on that at HBR, here and here.

👉 These micro-learning doses will give you a daily experiment towards better meetings and group.

👉 Bruce's managed a comparison of positive psychology pioneer Martin Seligman to a Meet the Fockers era Robert De Niro, and fellow humorist David Mitchell delved excellent into the art and science of meeting well in his BBC podcast series.

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Illustration by Leilo

Don't ditch the 'me-ness' entirely

In Fortitude Bruce parks his tanks on the lawn of what he calls the 'Resilience Orthodoxy' — challenging an over-reliance on the work of Martin Seligman (positive psychology), Carol Dweck (growth mindset) and Angela Duckworth (Grit). Might this lead to an unhelpful view that it's all on us to manage our resilience?

Bruce acknowledged the room for nuance in it all, and how his vision of a more consciously collegiate approach to resilience still relied on autonomy and a recognition of what's within our unique individual control. Echoing the excellent recent insights of Ian Robertson on confidence, Bruce points out more than once in Fortitude that mindfulness and attention to our breath is often the required foundational step to feeling any kind of control.

👉 Try these experiments to experience just that.

🚀 And when it comes to recognising individual progress (core to the Ryan and Deci work he's drawn his model from) one of Bruce's key recommendations to the teams he talks to is to make a ritual of recognition, and to find moment to collectively share what's working well.

👉 This is an excellent primer, or refresher, on how to purposeful provide feedback in your team.

🧠 Missed the session? You'll likely enjoy this excellent exchange on Fortitude between Bruce and behavioural science maestro Rory Sutherland.

🤔 And if you've not yet come across it, Bruce's longstanding Eat Sleep Work Repeat podcast is superb.

More Resources