We should all be more like Gumby.

What is Resilience?

If we go to the dictionary, we’ll find that it’s the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

Doesn’t sound comfortable, does it?

Kind of like when Paul McCartney tried out for the choir of the Liverpool Cathedral.

He didn’t make it because they didn’t think he was a good enough singer.Not his best day, no doubt. Talk about being bent, compressed and emotionally stretched.

He got his revenge, of course, by becoming one of the best singer/songwriters in the world with a listing in the Guiness Book of World Records as such.

The man who turned Paul McCartney down for the Liverpool cathedral choir, Ronald Woan, 88, told The Liverpool Echo that the former Beatle owed him.

He said, “If I had taken him on, he would probably have ended up teaching music in a comprehensive school. Under the circumstances he went on to do other things. I think he owes me an awful lot of money.”

Similarly Einstein was bent, compressed, and stretched when his teacher said that he would never do anything that would make any sense in his life.


This, of course, was before he published more than 450 works, both scientific and non-scientific, and received the 1921 Nobel Peace prize in physics.

Both went on to become legends in their own right. How often do we let the smallest rejection paralyze us from moving forward?

Resilience is a necessary quality to self-preservation, if not the most important.

Everyone has their own unique story of personal resilience overcoming obstacles.

We encourage you to look at any successful person and NOT find a resilience story in their life path. Every successful leader has had their share of lemons, but also the capacity to make a very tasty glass of lemonade out of them.

Take your Resilience at Work Questionnaire (RAW-Q) today!


About karlinsloan

Karlin Sloan has committed herself to finding out what makes great leaders tick, and to supporting leaders to be the change they wish to see in the world. As a corporate citizen she is an advocate for triple-bottom-line reporting, for creating sustainable ways of working and living, and for creating positive organizational communities that work together for the greater good. She is the author of the acclaimed business book Smarter, Faster, Better; Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership which has been translated into Thai and Russian, UNFEAR: Facing Change in an Era of Uncertainty, and co-author of the 2012 book Lemonade: The Leaders Guide to Resilience at Work. For more information see www.karlinsloan.com or www.theresilienceproject.net
This entry was posted in leadership books, leading change, positivity, resilience and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to We should all be more like Gumby.

  1. Flo Mauri says:

    I love this. SOOOOOOO true! Very inspiring and the analogy of gumby is brilliant.

  2. Absolutely vital. Every great leader i know has stories of substantial setbacks.setbacks

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