Conceptual Frameworks and Research Models on Resilience in Leadership

Janet Ledesma

Abstract

The purpose of this article was to discuss conceptual frameworks and research models on resilience theory. The constructs of resilience, the history of resilience theory, models of resilience, variables of resilience, career resilience, and organizational resilience will be examined and discussed as they relate to leadership development. The literature demonstrates that there is a direct relationship between the stress of the leader’s job and his or her ability to maintain resilience in the face of prolonged contact with adversity. This article discusses resilience theory as it relates to leadership development. The concept associated with resilience, which includes thriving and hardiness, is explored with the belief that resilient leaders are invaluable to the sustainability of an organization. In addition, the constructs of resilience and the history of resilience studies in the field of psychiatry, developmental psychopathy, human development, medicine, epidemiology, and the social sciences are examined. Survival, recovery, and thriving are concepts associated with resilience and describe the stage at which a person may be during or after facing adversity. The concept of “thriving” refers to a person’s ability to go beyond his or her original level of functioning and to grow and function despite repeated exposure to stressful experiences. The literature suggests a number of variables that characterize resilience and thriving. These variables include positive self-esteem, hardiness, strong coping skills, a sense of coherence, self-efficacy, optimism, strong social resources, adaptability, risk-taking, low fear of failure, determination, perseverance, and a high tolerance of uncertainty. These are reviewed in this article. The findings in this article suggest that those who develop leaders need to create safe environments to help emerging and existing leaders thrive as individuals and as organizational leaders in the area of resilience to impact productivity and sustainability.

  • organizational behavior
  • management
  • social sciences
  • leadership
  • organizational development/organizational change
  • organizational communication
  • organizational research methods
  • organizational studies
  • public administration and non-profit management
  • social issues in management
  • sustainability management
  • resilience

Resilience Theory

Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, frustration, and misfortune and is essential for the effective leader. The literature demonstrates that there is a direct relationship between the stress of the leader’s job and their ability to maintain resilience in the face of prolonged contact with adversity (Ackerman & Maslin-Ostrowski, 2002; Cash, 2001; Copland, 2001; L. Greene, 2003; R. R. Greene, 2002; Heifetz & Linsky, 2004; Ledesma, 2012; Patterson, Patterson, & Collins, 2002).

Survival, recovery, and thriving are concepts associated with resilience and describe the stage at which a person may be during or after facing adversity. The concept of “thriving” refers to a person’s ability to go beyond his or her original level of functioning and to grow and function despite repeated exposure to stressful experiences (O’Leary, 1998). The literature suggests a number of variables that characterize resilience and thriving. These variables include positive self-esteem, hardiness, strong coping skills, a sense of coherence, self-efficacy, optimism, strong social resources, adaptability, risk-taking, low fear of failure, determination, perseverance, and a high tolerance of uncertainty (Bonanno, 2004; Carver, 1998; Masten, 2005; O’Leary, 1998; Patterson et al., 2002; Ungar, 2004). These are reviewed in this article.

Construct of Resilience

Resilience originates from the Latin word resiliens, which refers to the pliant or elastic quality of a substance (R. R. Greene et al., 2002). Masten (2005) defines resilience as a class of phenomena characterized by good outcomes in spite of serious threats to adaptation of development. Rutter (1987), a psychiatric risk researcher, states that the term is used to describe the positive tone of individual differences in people’s response to stress and adversity. Janas (2002) identified the term as the ability to bounce back from adversity, frustration, and misfortune.

Perry (2002) defines resilience as the capacity to face stressors without significant negative disruption in functioning. In developmental literature, resilience is typically discussed in terms of protective psychological risk factors that foster the development of positive outcomes and healthy personality characteristics (Bonanno, 2004). Resilience is also used interchangeably with positive coping, adaptation, and persistence (R. R. Greene et al., 2002). In essence, resilience researchers agree that resilience is concerned with individual variations in response to risk. While some individuals succumb to stress and adversity, others survive and respond well to the challenges associated with life’s hazards (Rutter, 1987).

History of Resilience Studies

Resiliency theory has been researched across many disciplines. For example, resiliency was defined in the area of psychology as the ability to bounce back and to withstand hardship by repairing oneself (Higgins, 1994; Wolin & Wolin, 1993). In the field of psychiatry, it is psychological and biological strengths humans use to master change successfully (Flach, 1988). In the field of developmental psychopathology, it refers to the ability to cope with challenges and threats while maintaining an internal and integrated sense of self (Garmezy & Masten, 1986). In the field of human development, resiliency was defined as the ability to withstand or successfully cope with adversity (Werner & Smith, 2001). In the field of change management, it is viewed as the ability to demonstrate both strength and flexibility during the change process, while displaying minimal dysfunctional behavior (Conner, 1993).

Resiliency theory was defined in the field of medicine as the ability to recognize pain, acknowledge its purpose, tolerate it for a while, until things begin to normalize (Flach, 1988; O’Leary & Ickovics, 1995). In the field of epidemiology, it refers to the ability to survive stress and to rise above disadvantage (Rutter, 1979). In the field of nursing, it is the ability to regenerate power to respond to the internal or external environment for survival, growth, or development (Jones, 1991).

The social sciences generally define resilience as the ability to recover from negative life experiences and become stronger while overcoming them (Henderson & Milstein, 1996). Most recently, it has been used to conceptualize studies in the field of educational administration. Geocaris (2004) applied resilience theory to her study of principals to thrive in difficult situations. Isaacs (2003) applied resilience theory to determine the relationship among the dimensions of resilience of high-school principals toward strengthening the leadership abilities of principals.

Goldstein (2003) studied perceptions of school principals pertaining to their efficacy and resiliency. Nishikawa (2006) studied the internal and external variables utilized by thriving elementary principals in leadership and identified and described the organizational characteristics that support thriving as perceived by elementary-school principals. Finally, Schaid (2005) studied psychological resiliency as it applied to the impact and struggle on spiritually centered educational leaders.

Models of Resilience

Several researchers have used different terms for the three resilience models that essentially describe the same mechanisms for the impact of stress on quality adaptation. They include compensatory model, the challenge model, and the protective factor of immunity versus vulnerability model (O’Leary, 1998).

The compensatory model sees resilience as a factor that neutralizes exposures to risk. Risk factors and compensatory factors independently contribute to the prediction outcome. In Werner and Smith’s (2001) study, four central characteristics emerged for the young adults labeled resilient: an active approach toward problem-solving, a tendency to perceive experiences in a positive light even when they were suffering, the ability to gain other people’s positive attention, and a strong reliance on faith to maintain a positive life view. The compensatory factors identified in Kumpfer and Hopkins’s (1993; cited in Ungar, 2004) study included optimism, empathy, insight, intellectual competence, self-esteem, direction or mission, and determination and perseverance.

The challenge model suggests that a risk factor, provided it is not too extreme, can actually enhance a person’s adaptation. In essence, the experience prepares the individual for the next challenge (O’Leary, 1998).

In the protective factor model of resilience, there is an interaction between protection and risk factors, which reduces the probability of a negative outcome and moderates the effect of exposure to risk (O’Leary, 1998). This model of resilience is derived from developmental literature and systems theory. It indicates that these protective factors foster positive outcomes and healthy personality characteristics despite unfavorable or aversive life circumstances (Bonanno, 2004; Ungar, 2004). The protective factors identified included emotional management skills, intrapersonal reflective skills, academic and job skills, ability to restore self-esteem, planning skills, life skills, and problem-solving skills (Ungar, 2004).

Thriving

Recent studies in resilience have started to look at the concept of “thriving.” Thriving emerged from the scientific study on vulnerability and coping paradigms. Thriving is grounded on an individual’s positive transformation resulting from the experience of adversity (Nishikawa, 2006). Although thriving has received attention in the fields of social and behavioral psychology primarily in the last decade, the belief that “people are capable of transmuting traumatic experiences to gain wisdom, personal growth, positive personality changes, or more meaningful and productive lives has been a central theme in centuries of literature, poetry, and personal narratives” (Saakvitne, Tennen, & Affleck, 1998, p. 281). As such, the study of thriving and its application to the field of science, psychology, and medicine can “enhance our understanding of health and provide important opportunities for prevention and intervention” (Ickovics & Park, 1998, p. 237).

The present literature on thriving suggests that people will respond to thriving in three different ways when confronted by a challenge: They may (a) survive the incident, (b) recover from the incident, and (c) thrive as a result of enduring the hardship (Nishikawa, 2006). As a result, survivors continue to function although it may be in an impaired state. Recovery indicates a return to baseline where individuals return to their previous level of functioning. However, thriving results in a transformation that includes a cognitive shift in response to a challenge. The person may refocus priorities and have a stronger sense of self. Usually thriving results from a profound event or crisis where a person’s sense of purpose, meaning, or identity is called into question (O’Leary, 1998). Additional transformations include the reconstruction of meaning; the renewal of faith, trust, hope, and connection; and redefinition of self, self in relation, and sense of community. After the crisis or trauma, adaptation occurs stemming from our attempts to survive and heal in the midst of suffering (Saakvitne et al., 1998).

The definition of thriving varies slightly among different researchers. Ickovics and Park (1998) defined thriving as the effective mobilization of individual and social resources in response to risk or threat, leading to positive mental or physical outcomes and/or positive social outcomes. Carver (1998) defined thriving as a decreased reactivity to subsequent stressors, faster recovery from subsequent stressors, or a consistently higher level of functioning. He further suggests that psychological thriving may reflect gains in skills, knowledge, confidence, or a sense of security in personal relationships. While the definitions stated above vary by researchers, it is apparent that thriving is characterized by a growth experience as a result of adversity, and as such, the individual demonstrates strengthened resilience after enduring hardship.

Theories associated with thriving include the constructivist self-determination theory (CSDT; Saakvitne et al., 1998). This theory emphasizes the developmental perspective that has been used to study both damage and growth after a trauma crisis to better understand thriving. CSDT integrates psychoanalytic theory with constructivist thinking, social learning theory, and cognitive development theory, and emphasizes the individual’s developmental, social, and cultural contexts (Saakvitne et al., 1998). The theory suggests that the uniqueness of an individual’s response to trauma is determined by the particular meaning ascribed to the trauma: the individual’s experience of self, age, and developmental stage; biological and psychological resources; interpersonal experiences and expectations; and his or her social, cultural, and economic background (Nishikawa, 2006).

In CSDT theory, five areas of self are affected by traumatic events, including one’s frame of reference, self-capacities, ego resources, central psychological needs, and perceptual and memory system.

CSDT understands the individual’s adaptation to trauma as interaction between his or her personality and personal history and the traumatic event and its context . . . The meaning of the traumatic event is in the survivor’s experience of it; each individual is affected in his or her own unique way. (Saakvitne et al., 1998)

Emerging from trauma theory, CSDT is important because it can be applied to research on thriving in the following manner: (a) It integrates nomothetic and idiographic inquiry focusing on process and context, (b) it allows descriptive inquiry as well as moderator analysis, (c) it allows complexity by offering multivariate hypothesis, (d) it assesses both the automatic and intentional aspects of thriving, and (e) it allows for both gradual and abrupt steps toward thriving (Saakvitne et al., 1998). Because the CSDT is grounded in adaptation, it can provide a theoretical framework for understanding and researching the concept of thriving, as well as help guide efforts toward prevention and intervention.

As indicated above, thriving has prompted the field to explore perspectives in the hope of seeking an answer to why some people thrive following an adversity and others do not. In addition, Patterson and Kelleher (2005) state that thriving is largely determined by a person’s resilience capacity. They explain that three fuel sources—personal values, personal efficacy, and personal energy—account for resilience capacity and help determine an individual’s response to adversity. In essence, as an individual grows from adversity, his resilience capacity is expanded through strengthening these three fuel sources, which, in turn, provide more fuel for the individual to face the future. Thus, one becomes more competent and prepared to handle the next crisis.

Patterson and Kelleher (2005) outline a resilience cycle that may be used by people facing adversity. The researchers suggest that even the most resilient individuals experience a rollercoaster effect as they work through the traumatic experience. A four-cycle phase to resilience is defined and includes a deteriorating phase, an adapting phase, a recovery phase, and a growing phase. Resilience capacity, for the most part, largely determines where in the cycle the individual finds himself. Thus, if a person is unable to adapt to their challenging experience, they will most likely sink into a dysfunctional level and will be unable to cope or survive the adversity. However, some may adapt but not fully recover, thus reaching survival level. Then, there will be those who are able to reach the recovery phase and will return to the status quo. However, a small minority of individuals, those who are thrivers, will reach the growing phase and achieve a strengthened resilience level (Nishikawa, 2006). This growing phase is referred to as thriving. Pearsall (2003) emphasizes, We thrive when we surpass and transcend our prior level of functioning, regain and even accelerate our upward psychological trajectory, and seem to have mentally and emotionally benefited from our suffering. Because of our crisis, we seem to begin to flourish. (p. 17)

Pearsall (2003) suggests that thrivers are rational optimists who know when to fight or flow with the adversity and when to let go and move forward.

These various theories of resilience and thriving bring attention to the role of adaptation in enduring and overcoming crisis (Nishikawa, 2006). Thriving can provide a useful framework for the integration of diverse concepts (coping, self-efficacy, and support) used to explain adaptive response to challenge (Ickovics & Park, 1998).

Understanding the process of thriving can have important implications for prevention and intervention for those who face the challenges associated with illness, injury, upheaval, and personal or social adversity of many kinds. We can develop such interventions with an eye toward enhancing health and well-being, rather than simply promoting a return to baseline of the status quo. (p. 239)

The concept of thriving has significant promise in many fields of study. Next, I review hardiness and the variables that have the greatest influence on a person’s ability to thrive.

Hardiness

“Hardiness” is synonymous with thriving but embraces an individual’s ability to make the best of difficult circumstances. There are three dimensions to hardiness as defined by Bonanno (2004): (a) being committed to finding meaningful purpose in life, (b) the belief that one can influence one’s surrounding and the outcome of events, and (c) the belief that one can learn and grow from both positive and negative life experiences. A definition that originated from existential personality theory states that the construct of hardiness refers to a constellation of personality characteristics that function as a resistance resource in the encounter with stressful life events (Florian, Mikulincer, & Taubman, 1995; Maddi, 2005).

Theorists and researchers on personalities have paid a significant amount of attention to hardiness as an inner resource that may moderate the effects of stress on physical and mental health (Florian et al., 1995). Because hardiness is a personality trait that helps buffer exposure to extreme stress, these individuals are able to appraise potentially stressful situations as less threatening and minimize distress. They are also more confident and better able to use coping and social support (Bonanno, 2004). The concept is that hardiness alters two appraisal components: (a) It reduces the appraisal of threat and (b) it increases the expectations of coping effectively (Florian et al., 1995). Researchers Maddi and Kobasa (1984) identified hardiness as having a sense of control over one’s environment. In one of their studies, they analyzed the incidence of life stresses among hundreds of executives. Undoubtedly, hardiness emerged for those who stayed healthy in the face of adversity and felt that they had the stick-to-itiveness to exert a tangible impact on their surroundings (Segal, 1986).

Variables of Resilience

The literature addressing the concepts of resilience and thriving does so in the context of internal and external factors that contribute to an individual’s ability to thrive. Carver (1998) refers to both internal and external components to thriving in the following manner: To get through the experience successfully, they were forced to learn something they hadn’t had to know how to do before. Sometimes the skills bear on the external world . . . sometimes on handling internal matters, as in affect management. The skills may be actual skill or an enhanced knowledge base: knowledge of the nature of the domain, or knowledge of resources available to people confronting such problems. Whatever skills or knowledge the person acquires may be applicable to future problems. When people master a new skill, they are more fit to deal with an unpredictable world. When people develop new pathways to get from here to there, they are more flexible in confronting the unknown. These flexibilities build on each other. (p. 251)

Internal Variables

Internal variables in resiliency are defined as self-factors, personality factors, or individual resources. These factors appear to have significant impact on how a person interprets and deals with the crisis at hand. As such, these factors may include hardiness, coping ability, a sense of coherence, the use of personal resources, cognitive resources, threat appraisal, and self-efficacy (O’Leary, 1998). Other internal factors include temperaments such as modes of thought, response, action, positive self-esteem, a sense of being effectual, and being in control of one’s surroundings (Beardslee, 1989). In addition, self-factors such as optimism, empathy, insight, intellectual competence, direction or mission, and determination and perseverance are characteristics reported also to be present in thriving individuals (Ungar, 2004).

There have been several recent studies that discuss internal variables associated with resiliency and thriving. These studies continue to concur with the importance of a relatively small set of global factors associated with resilience: for example, the connections to competent and caring adults in the family and community, cognitive and self-regulation skills, positive views of self, and the motivation to be effective in the environment (Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000; Masten, 2001, 2005; Wyman, Sandler, Wolchik, & Nelson, 2000). Other variables reported include self-enhancement; repressors of emotional dissociation; positive emotion and laughter; personal energy encompassing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy; core personal and professional values; and personal efficacy (Bonanno, 2004; Patterson & Kelleher, 2005).

However, the most consistent finding in the literature is that people possessing higher levels of the personality characteristics of optimism and hope are those who expect positive outcomes and who believe they have the ability to attain their goals and are more likely to report experiencing growth in response to stress (Affleck & Tennen, 1996; Curbow, 1996; Davis, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Larson, 1998; Park, Cohen, & Murch, 1996; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996).

External Variables of Resilience

Researchers have defined external variables that have influence over a person’s ability to remain resilient in the face of adversity. Of the external variables defined, the most compelling and most consistent finding indicates the centrality of relationships as a critical component to resilience (Beardslee, 1989; Masten, 2005; O’Leary, 1998) and social support (Bonanno, 2004; Carver, 1998; Nishikawa, 2006; Park, 1998; Saakvitne et al., 1998). Carver (1998) states, A person experiencing a traumatic event finds that help from others is readily available; that the significant others in his or her life can be counted on and that the result can be a positive change in the sense of the relationships involved. The person may experience a strengthening of the sense of security in those relationships . . . Perhaps, then, the person who experiences ready availability during a period of adversity acquires an enhanced sense of security in relationships. In principle, this would permit the person’s future exploration to operate a more secure base. (p. 252)

According to studies on external variables associated with resilience, the literature points to the importance of relationships as a significant factor for the individual facing adversity. Whether the support comes from a relative or a caring individual, it is clear that social resources are a critical factor in resilience (O’Leary, 1998). At the core of a person’s ability to sustain himself is his intimacy with others, and sometimes these relationships serve as the major catalyst of the transformation in one’s life and within oneself. Beardslee (1989) indicated that individuals who have handled adversarial experiences the best were those who had the presence of a close confiding relationship during trying times and emphasized the significance of relationships in their ability to be resilient. Furthermore, Masten (2005) studied external variables associated with resilience and found a similar small set of global factors associated with resilience, which included connections to competent caring adults in the family and the community. In his study, Rutter (1987) identified the availability of external support systems that encourage and reinforce coping skills for individuals as one of the three broad sets of variables associated with resilience.

Career Resilience

Studies on the resilience of individuals have also extended to career and organizational resilience. According to Patterson et al. (2002), organizations are characterized as resilient if they are (a) just getting by, (b) getting back to status quo after experiencing adversity, or (c) getting ahead through consistent improvement or high performance. This thought aligns with the concept of survival, recovery, and thriving mentioned earlier. Therefore, the term career resilience refers to a person’s resistance to career disruption in a less than optimal environment and the ability to handle poor working conditions while one is aware that these conditions exist (O’Leary, 1998).

The career resiliency of a leader is critical for their survival, adaptation, and success. The challenge that leaders face today is accepting the responsibility for doing whatever it takes to move ahead in the face of adversity. In essence, the resilient leader acts with courage about convictions in spite of the risks (Patterson & Patterson, 2001).

Organizational Resilience

Organizational resiliency refers to an organization’s ability to create an environment that enhances career resiliency of their employees (Brock & Grady, 2002; Nishikawa, 2006). An organization committed to building resilient employees will foster openness in communication, encouragement of individual contributions for personal growth, risk-taking all with the promise of employee recognition and rewards (O’Leary, 1998). Resilient organizations structure and restructure themselves to attain a mission, support the optimal development of shared decision-making. They provide feedback, set goals, and have intelligence-gathering mechanisms (Nishikawa, 2006). They employ people who react quickly and efficiently to change and perceive experiences constructively, ensuring adequate external resources, expand decision-making boundaries, develop the ability to create solutions on the spot, and develop tolerance for uncertainty (R. R. Greene et al., 2002).

Howard and Irving (2013) found that leadership development is gained and shaped through the active engagement in hardship or obstacle. They argue that by overcoming obstacles, a person builds a competency to successfully deal with and bounce back from adversity. The research in this article implies that organizations have an invaluable influence on building their employees’ resilience capacity through leadership development while reinforcing the resilience of the organization. Thus, it is essential for organizations to commit to fostering the resiliency of both the employee and the organization. While very little research currently exists on the topic of organizational resiliency, the recent surge of studies on “hardship and thriving” dictates a necessity for a more comprehensive understanding of how resilience can be fostered within organizations (Nishikawa, 2006). The overwhelming benefit for the organization that fosters resilience and thriving in its workplace is a more highly motivated workforce (O’Leary, 1998). As a result, there is a mutually positive outcome for both the employees and the organization.

In the context of leadership development and resilience, protective factors that increase a leader’s chance of overcoming adversity must be considered. The literature clearly indicates the significance of external support systems and the importance of supportive, confiding relationships that have commonly been found in resilient individuals (Beardslee, 1989; Janas, 2002; O’Leary, 1998; Perry, 2002). These relationships protect the individual against the effects of stressful occurrences and therefore should be given considerable attention by organizations seeking to develop resilient leaders.

Because a key factor to building a leader’s capacity for resilience is to ensure a social network of support in times of need, the common practice of how we grow them should be reevaluated. Leaders should be able to have access to trusted peers and colleagues, time to reflect and collaborate with professional peers and colleagues, and transformational development opportunities that demand less social isolation and more opportunities for partnerships (Nishikawa, 2006)—all essential aspects to recruiting and retaining resilient leaders.

In sum, this article has reviewed conceptual frameworks and research models pertaining to resilience. Resilience was defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, frustration, and misfortune and described as an essential characteristic of effective leaders. The literature demonstrated that there was a direct relationship between the leader’s stresses and their ability to maintain resiliency in the face of prolonged contact with adversity (Ackerman & Maslin-Ostrowski, 2002; Cash, 2001; Copland, 2001; L. Greene, 2003; R. R. Greene, 2002; Heifetz & Linsky, 2004; Patterson et al., 2002).

The literature discussed noted that survival, recovery, and thriving are concepts associated with resilience at varying stages during or after adversity. The concept of “thriving” refers to a person’s ability to go beyond their original level of functioning and to grow and function despite repeated exposure to stressful experiences (O’Leary, 1998). Resilient individuals rely on a number of variables to cope with adversity resulting in hardiness and thriving. These variables include positive self-esteem, hardiness, strong coping skills, a sense of coherence, self-efficacy, optimism, strong social resources, adaptability, risk-taking, low fear of failure, determination, perseverance, and a high tolerance of uncertainty (Bonanno, 2004; Carver, 1998; Masten, 2005; O’Leary, 1998; Patterson et al., 2002; Ungar, 2004).

Career and organizational resilience was discussed in the context that there is a constant threat that adversity and prolonged contact with stress can cripple leaders (Nishikawa, 2006). Therefore, resilience and thriving are critical concepts to explore in the development of leaders within careers and organizations. The challenge for these organizations then becomes quite apparent and that is to create environments for resilience to emerge in their leaders and organization. This topic of leadership development and resilience promises to make a crucial area of research for years to come.

Recommendations for Future Research

Given the discussion on the “Conceptual Frameworks and Research Models on Resilience in Leadership,” several implications become evident for future research. The first recommendation would be a study comparing the internal and external variables thriving leaders manifest across the various organizations (corporate, health care, education) they lead. Of great interest would be the coping skills developed and used to lead effectively within their organizations.

A second recommendation would be a study using the constructs of resilience to explore the relationship between the resilient leader and their direct impact on the organization they lead. This study would explore the influence a resilient leader has upon the organization they lead.

A third area of study would be to identify characteristics needed to support the efforts of organizations willing to commit to fostering the resiliency of both the employee and the organization through leadership development. The need for a more comprehensive understanding of how resilience can be fostered within organizations could make a huge contribution to the existing literature on organizational leadership development and resilience.

Finally, a fourth recommendation would be a qualitative study exploring the five areas of CSDT (one’s frame of reference, self-capacities, ego resources, central psychological needs, and perceptual and memory system) to determine how leaders adapt by sharing their stories and adding meaning to their lived experiences on resilience. This study would enable the researcher to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the concept of thriving, as well as help guide efforts toward prevention and intervention. In addition, it would have the potential of making a contribution to the existing yet limited literature on leadership development and resilience.

Article Notes

  • Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

  • Funding The author(s) received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).

Author Biography

Janet Ledesma, PHD., is the Educational Leadership Coordinator and Associate Professor in the Educational Leadership Department at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Dr. Ledesma served as an Adventist school principal for over 28 years in all types of schools; preschool, elementary, junior academy, and boarding academy. She has a burning desire to serve educational leaders through mentoring and by providing resources such as biweekly principal webinars. As a servant leader, she enjoys helping others reach their highest potential as resilient leaders. One of her greatest joys is spending time with her husband of 25 years and her two young adult children.

References

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