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Book Review: ‘The Resilience Club’ by Angela Armstrong PhD

By 5th November 2019 Leadership Skills Tips

The Resilience Club: About the Book

As we become more aware of ourselves through research-based information, the more positive action we can take.  Author, Angela Armstrong provides professional and detailed techniques for us to consider and put into practice through The Resilience Club.  Regardless of the role you perform, Angela speaks in a language that assumes purpose-driven leadership.

On the first view, Angela quickly gets into how resilience works and how stretch turns into pressure and then stress.  The opening chapters are informative and provide a clear context for the whole book.  These are useful and thought-provoking, if not sometimes uncomfortable to read.  Upon reflection, these small statements are powerful and fit perfectly within the context of the book.

FREEDOM Model

The Resilience Club asks initially for the reader to consider their own resilience.  From the outset, you are presented with the FREEDOM (Focus, Role models, Energy, Emotions, Downtime, Optimism and Meaning).  Through the use of this, Angela asks the reader to score themselves producing a focussed view.  Coaches may be familiar with this technique also known as the skill wheel.  This is an effective way of viewing personal resilience and sets you on the journey to reviewing your coping strategies.  This is an intelligent way for the book to connect to the reader, it personalises the book to you.

Now you have invested the time, Angela presents potential coping strategies through a change of habits.

The Resilience Club’s Personal Plan to Resilience

There are 30 habits in total, each is easy to understand and apply.  More than this, there is a purpose behind each one. Even if you have not completed the FREEDOM model, there are some excellent suggestions in The Resilience Club.  The reader has the opportunity to really link in their personal journey to the changes in the book.  If you are serious about improving your resilience, the time invested in applying the habits will provide a meaning guide.

You can, of course, read the whole book this will aid the creation of a full plan.  Equally, as a busy professional you could ‘dip in and out’ and plan around the areas you feel require work.  This should be seen as a positive as there are some interesting insights for each of the habits.

The Resilience Club, Book Cover

Inconvenient Truths

Throughout the book. there are nuggets of hard-hitting statements. These are both empowering and inconvenient truths.

‘Progress, not perfect’

They are positioned to provide thought and reflection as you work your way through.  The inclusion of inconvenient truths adds to the gravitas of the book.  Simple statements such as, ‘Adversity happens when you least expect it’, tells you how the world is.  These statements provide a view that you may not have thought of and gives you permission to revise your views.

Final Thoughts

The Resilience Club tackles a real problem that is happening today.  The erosion of our capacity to cope can happen to anyone at any time. It provides real-life views that are well researched and presented in an intelligent way. The book fills an important gap in a crowded space and really is worth the time to read.

This is not a book to rush to get through but a resource to personalise and deeply understand.  Not all the habits will apply to you; even then, they are worth reading and reflecting on.  You will have your own reason for reading The Resilience Club, invest in it and you will create a way forward.  As with any new approach, this will take time to apply, being more resilient won’t happen overnight.

Invest time in the words on the pages and I believe that this will create a stronger version of you.


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Will Clement

About Will Clement

Will Clement is an organisational development manager in the NHS. Will’s main aim is to create contemporary learning that bring theory into practice. Will delivers with breath taking honesty and compassion - while having fun in the process. His work is centred on understanding individuals, helping them deploy their strengths. Like most things in Will’s life, his approach is powerful, simple and effective. He is a highly engaging and thought-provoking speaker. A no nonsense, back to basics approach, which draws on 20 years training and management experience. His work encourages individuals to seize the opportunity, enjoy relationships, succeed at work and learn how to respond to adverse situations with a positive approach. Will has worked in public, private and education sectors, including the Royal Mail, Leeds Met University, the AA plc and the NHS. Will holds a BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Development and a Masters In Business Administration (MBA) from York St John University.

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