The post-COVID-19 era has brought many workplace challenges like adapting to remote and hybrid work models, high unemployment clubbed with mass layoffs, global supply chain issues, etc. Those in charge need to adapt quickly, navigate disruption, motivate teams, and do so while learning new skills to prepare them for the next crisis. That’s why resilience is a critical attribute of any modern leader.
Because Hispanics will make up 21 percent of labor force by 2030, according to the US Department of Labor’s 2021 data, let’s look at some of the key traits they bring to the table as leaders.
After more than two decades managing teams and crises in Mexico, Latin America, and now the US, I highly value the strength, values, and impact of what I call the “ultra-resilient” Latinx manager.
In my view, Latinxs are built with resilience, the ability to adapt to challenging experiences especially through behavioral flexibility and adjustment to both internal and externs demands. It is the essence of our history—experiencing economic or political crises, emigrating, and having to adapt to new cultures.
Most Latinx leaders I have met throughout my career possess this special kind of resilience, which makes them skilled at navigating a constantly changing market, workforce, and world.
I’ve identified four key traits of this ultra-resilient management style.
1. Latinxs Are Change Curious
Change is often met with skepticism because people tend to prefer the status quo and resist the unknown. In my experience, Latinx managers are much more curious about change than others. Adela, one of my mentees who worked in the healthcare industry, once shared that she had witnessed Mexico’s managers embrace a global go-to market change with curiosity and positive ambition. Because of that, they promoted the change much more (compared with other geographies she had worked in) and successfully implemented massive structural transformation in just a few months.
This capacity to digest upcoming change, to see it with curiosity, and to tune in with positive expectation is unique and can be leveraged to make a powerful leader or manager.
2. Latinxs Are Positive
Research supports that Latinx and Hispanic cultures tend to focus on the positive and be more grateful for what they have. Gallup’s 2022 Global Emotions showed that much of Latin America led the rankings in terms of “highest positive experiences worldwide,” with Panama, Paraguay, and El Salvador leading the way.
It’s even embedded in our way of everyday language with sayings like “no hay cambio malo” (there is no bad change) and “lo mejor está por venir” (the best is yet to come). That kind of enthusiasm when facing uncertainty makes us confident in ourselves and gives us a capacity to solve problems and make change.
3. Latinxs Are Practiced Dancers
Dancing is learned step-by-step, practicing each move with patience until you can combine all the steps. That’s the image I see when I think of how many Latinx leaders and managers face change and crisis. Likewise, methodologies with short sprint approaches to solving pain points, such as scrum, prove that the best progress is made step by step, like the many highly efficient Latinxs I have worked with.
We employ similar step-by-step problem management and always have a backup plan ready—just in case. It’s how many of us are wired. We know how to get back on our feet and how to help our organizations bounce back, too. And we always celebrate success along the way.
4. Latinxs Are Community Mobilizers
There are so many Latinx and Hispanic leaders whom I would describe as great human beings and who are close to their teams, know how to roll up their sleeves, and always care for their community. Many of us are used to rallying behind same cultural causes, or we have faced crisis many times back in our countries or during immigration. In my experience while working in Latin America, I always felt that I was part of my “work family.” We worked together through the best and the worst! That is “en lo prospero y en lo adverso.”
Now that I’m in the US, I sometimes miss that feeling. This community unity and shared mission helps us face adversity together. We know how to work shoulder to shoulder and be attentive to each other’s needs. In doing so, we strengthen our relationships through trust and loyalty and the pride of achieving the extraordinary together.
These four traits make Hispanic and Latinx leaders and managers ultra-resilient, flexible, and adaptable to a changing professional environment. We are people that will lead with empathy and who create a spirit of shared success.
Do you consider yourself an ultra-resilient manager?