Resilience with Limor Bergman Gross

Resilience with Limor Bergman Gross

The Chris Hood Digital Show - Episode 26 - Limor Bergman Gross
The Chris Hood Digital Show
Resilience with Limor Bergman Gross

Resilience is the capacity of people to effectively cope with, adjust, or recover from stress or adversity. In the convoluted chaos of life, resilience stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path of progress amidst hardships. It is a testament to human tenacity, reflecting our innate capability to recover from setbacks and to keep moving forward. 

According to the ADP Research Institute, only 19% of US Workers are highly resilient. However, when those same workers are placed into a position they love, resiliency increases to 28%. 

Joining us today is one stellar exemplification of resilience in action. Limor Bergman Gross, a seasoned tech professional living in Israel, discusses her perspective on managing resiliency regionally, personally, and professionally as disruption occurs around her daily​​.

Resilience: The Personal Endeavor

Resilience is the cornerstone of personal growth and development. It’s the ability to bounce back from adversities, learn from failures, and harness the essence of those experiences to foster personal evolution. The Harvard Business Review emphasizes that resilience often distinguishes between successful and unsuccessful individuals, underscoring its pivotal role in personal achievement​​.

Resilience in the Professional Arena

In the professional realm, resilience transcends personal benefits, contributing significantly to organizational success. It cultivates a culture of innovation, problem-solving, and adaptability, enabling enterprises to thrive even in tumultuous conditions. The American Management Association (AMA) posits that more than experience or training, resilience in stressful situations and rapid changes determines whether one succeeds or fails in the workplace​​.

Resilience: The Cultural Fabric

Resilience also extends to the cultural fabric of societies. It fosters a sense of identity, belonging, and inclusivity, allowing communities to maintain their unique heritage and values amidst the global meld. It’s the force that drives communities to uphold their legacy, promoting inclusivity and fostering a sense of belonging among individuals.

Global Resilience: Navigating Collective Challenges

On a global scale, resilience is the antidote to the multifaceted challenges that bedevil the world. It nurtures a collective spirit of unity, solidarity, and sustainable practices, essential for navigating economic, political, or environmental crises. It’s the key to fostering global unity and collective action towards a sustainable future.

Resilience Through Disruption: Embracing the Unforeseen

Disruption often comes uninvited, shaking the very core of our established norms and routines. It could manifest in technological advancements, economic shifts, or unforeseen global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. These disruptions, while challenging, also present a fertile ground for showcasing resilience.

When disruption knocks on the door, resilience is the quality that empowers individuals and organizations not merely to withstand the shock but to adapt, learn, and emerge stronger. It is about viewing disruption not as a threat but as an opportunity to innovate, re-evaluate existing processes, and forge ahead with renewed vigor and insight.

In the professional sphere, resilient individuals and organizations can swiftly pivot their strategies to align with the new realities, ensuring continuity and sustainability amidst change. They harness the essence of disruption to fuel creativity, drive innovation, and enhance operational agility.

On a personal level, resilience through disruption entails maintaining a positive outlook, adapting to new circumstances, and finding meaning and growth even when the familiar terrain seems to shift beneath our feet. It’s about fostering a mindset of adaptability, continuous learning, and embracing the new, even when it comes unexpectedly.

The narrative of Limor Bergman Gross further epitomizes resilience through disruption. Having navigated through a male-dominated tech industry, her journey showcases the essence of strength in adapting to and thriving amidst professional and cultural troubles​​.

Resilience through disruption is not about evading the challenges but meeting them head-on, learning, adapting, and evolving through them. It underscores the indomitable spirit of humans to thrive amidst change, laying a robust foundation for personal and professional growth, societal advancement, and global collaboration in facing the multifarious challenges that lie ahead.

Unlocking the Resilience Potential

The world is an ever-evolving landscape of challenges and opportunities. Resilience is the key to unlocking the boundless potential inherent in individuals and collectives. It’s an invitation to embrace the challenges, learn from them, and contribute positively to the broader society. Through resilience, we are not merely surviving the vicissitudes of life; we are thriving, evolving, and catalyzing a brighter tomorrow for all.

Despite efforts to locate precise statistics on resilience, the existing literature underscores its quintessential role in personal, professional, and global spheres. The journey of Limor Bergman Gross is a living testament to the transformative power of resilience, offering a roadmap for others on a similar quest for growth, innovation, and positive impact​. “Any kindness that you show to someone at work, can be something really big to them.” – Limor Bergman Gross.

Chris Hood (00:00):
Hey everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Resilience is the capacity of people to effectively cope with, adjust, or recover from stress or adversity In the convoluted chaos of life, resilience stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path of progress amidst hardships. It is a testament to human tenacity, reflecting our innate capability to recover from setbacks and to keep moving forward. According to the A D P Research Institute, only 19% of US workers are highly resilient. However, when those same workers are placed in a position they love, resiliency increases to 28%. Joining us today is one stellar exemplification of resilience in action. Limor Bergman Gross. A seasoned tech professional currently living in Israel discusses her perspective on managing resiliency regionally, personally, and professionally as disruption occurs around her daily. Grab a copy of my new book, Customer Transformation, A seven Stage Strategy for Customer Alignment and Business Value. This is your essential guide for customer success in the Digital age. Available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or my website, and to support the show, visit chris Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform. Follow us on social media or you can email me directly [email protected]. I’m Chris Hood and let’s get connected.
Voice Over (01:51):
Connecting. Access granted, it’s the Chris Hood digital show where global business and technology leaders meet to discuss strategy, innovation, and digital acceleration. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Your digital evolution starts now. Here’s your host, Chris Hood.
Chris Hood (02:11):
Welcome to the show. Limor, would you mind introducing yourself?
Limor Bergman Gross (02:15):
Yeah. Hi Chris. Hi everyone. My name is Limor Bergman Gross. I live in Israel. This is like, I don’t know when this is going to be out, but we’re kind of recording this three days after we have a war here, but it was important to me to come and speak up. I am an executive coach mainly for women in tech leadership roles. My background is engineering leadership. I’ve done that for many years, both in Israel and the us. I’m married, I’m a mother of four and thank you so much for having me here today, Chris.
Chris Hood (02:48):
No, I appreciate it. The first thing I did was reach out to you and say, are we still on for today? Are you okay? Is everything well, but I think the main topic that we’ve talked about covering is resilience and it’s fitting not only because of the situation that Israel is in right now, but people across the world are being challenged with everything from losing their jobs to the economy to war. You’re not the only country in war right now and it’s chaos and to have you on right now, being positive and wanting to talk about this and bring awareness, I think tells the audience, tells me a lot about your character, how you look at resilience. Could you share a little bit where that’s coming from?
Limor Bergman Gross (03:39):
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, in general, I have a very positive mindset, can do attitude, and I always believe that everything that happens, I mean, I don’t want to say that the war is a good thing, but anything that happens in your life, it is an opportunity to look at what can you gain out of it. It is an opportunity for growth and resilience is for me, being able to look beyond the crisis, be strong, be functional, and be able to move on. This goes to individuals, to countries, to everyone, and you see that. You see that with the crane. They’re in horrific war for two years and they are resilient nation because they stand, they stay foot across a vicious enemy and they fight for their lives.
Chris Hood (04:38):
Yeah, the positive attitude I think is definitely one critical component I was sharing when I left Google in January, all I could do was just wake up the next day and say, okay, now what am I going to work on? Turn that into a positive look and outcome. When you are coaching and you specialize in coaching women, is that part of the mantra? Let’s be positive, let’s continue to look at what the opportunity in front of you is.
Limor Bergman Gross (05:07):
Absolutely, absolutely. And not just that in crisis situations, but every challenge small to big that people that I’m coaching face with, I always tell them, this is an opportunity. Think about even something like it’s not a huge crisis. Let’s say you are a manager and I see that a lot of women, but not just women managers have a lot of challenge facing any difficult situations, any conflicts and every time they have a conflict can be an employee that they find hard to face with to their manager, to anything else. I always tell them, this is a growth opportunity for you. Let’s look at it at that angle, not just from the struggle, from the hardship, but how can you utilize that as an opportunity for growth?
Chris Hood (06:03):
Yeah, I totally agree. I often get asked the question, share a manager in your life that has had a positive impact, and I usually always turn that around. I say, well, look, I’ve had a lot of great managers and I’ve had a lot of really bad managers, and let me tell you about the growth and things that I’ve learned from the very bad managers, which I tend to learn a lot more from that because okay, well, I don’t want to treat people like that. I don’t want to be that type of manager. So either it’s good or bad. They’re both learning opportunities.
Limor Bergman Gross (06:43):
Absolutely, and as leaders, we have the role to set an example to give other people hope, to help other people become stronger, and I can share that in the workforce. I’ve seen many times executives fight over who is responsible for something bad that happens, and this is the wrong kind of leadership versus leaders who take responsibility and say, yes, we are responsible. We’re going to get through this. If someone need to pay the price, they will pay the price, but it’s not the time to blame and accuse other people. This is the kind of leaders I want to see both in companies but also in countries, leading countries.
Chris Hood (07:31):
That’s a hard thing for leaders to accept. Right? There is this interesting comparison when we think about leaders in different areas of our life. You’ve got parents who are leaders, religious leaders, presidents in country leaders. We’ve got business leaders, and when you start to break those down on different levels, I do think that some are more accepting to say, yep, that’s on me. I get it. But as we move up and we get to those presidents and international leaders, it is very, very rare for them to accept the responsibility. I feel as if they did this more, they would get more respect.
Limor Bergman Gross (08:18):
For sure. People want to see leaders taking responsibilities for their action, and that’s how they gain the respect and appreciation, not just for having victories and successes. People appreciate leaders taking responsibility, admitting failures.
Chris Hood (08:44):
Now, is your philosophy the same? It’s one thing when we are hit with chaos around us and there’s problems like war, but that war came completely unexpectedly. We are disrupted constantly in our lives with something of the unknown. We don’t anticipate it, so we can’t prepare for it. But on the flip side, we could say there are some skill sets. There are some mindsets that we should have to be able to adapt when disruption happens. The Covid example is another one. It came out of nowhere. All of a sudden we’re disrupted. A lot of companies and leaders were not prepared for it. How do we position that?
Limor Bergman Gross (09:32):
Yeah, and Covid I think is a great example because some companies could just shut off their businesses and say, okay, we give up everything we know ceases to exist. Companies used to work certain ways, used to serve, certain markets used to do different things, and now they have to completely, clearly shift. They had to. So I think it’s first realizing we are in crisis, realizing, okay, it is a crisis. We haven’t anticipated it, but after you realize it’s a crisis, maybe it takes you a day or two or three, then you have to be strong and think about, okay, where are the opportunities? What can I do with it? How can I take advantage of the situation? It’s a bad situation, but what can I do? And you’ve seen companies, I’m not talking about everyone started working remote but also shifting their businesses. I used to at that time in Covid, I used to consult to a company who used to do onsite events and they shifted to do virtual only.
They shifted the business model. Airbnb shifted their model back then before people even started to go to Airbnbs to escape, they did experiences virtually. So how do you take the crisis and turn it into an opportunity for something else? And the same goes to when people lose their jobs. A lot of times, yes, it’s a crisis. You may take it hard, it’s okay to grief, but then ask yourself, how is that an opportunity for me to maybe learn something new, maybe move to a different place, maybe expand my skills, maybe to do something I always wanted but never decided to do? It’s always an opportunity.
Chris Hood (11:32):
I feel that there’s a process in here and I’m sure that it’s different for everyone. We’re all going to grieve differently, all going to adapt differently. But the basic process is something happens. We have to grieve, we have to reflect, we have to have a retrospective, we have to learn. We have to move on. And in the case of Israel today, it’s so challenging because there’s a desire, I think to grieve right now, and yet you’re still in the middle of it. It’s almost like we can’t grieve yet. And even that seems like a difficult proposition.
Limor Bergman Gross (12:11):
I mean, this is a extreme situation where you actually fight for your life, I mean for your country. So obviously in those situations you don’t have the time to stop and grieve or look for in that case, who’s responsible for that, what went wrong? You don’t have time for that. You have to really unite as a country and move on. And I can tell you, I was briefing Saturday and Sunday. I was just watching the news all day long. I was a shadow of myself. I just couldn’t function at all. I couldn’t be a mother for my kids. I couldn’t be a wife. I was devastated. I’m still am still devastated, but I realized that I have to do something. I have to turn off the tv. I mean, I do watch tv. I cannot run away from this situation, but I try to find the right kind of quantities of how much news I consume, find other ways to keep my mind. So I have my own podcast that I’m busy with. I have clients that I’m busy with. So to do things actually to keep myself in some kind of routine, it’s a different kind of routine, but keep some kind of routine. Otherwise I’ll be just sinking in grief and in how severe the situation. It is severe, but for my sanity, I have to do something else to move on to try to keep some kind of sanity.
Chris Hood (13:43):
You touched on being a shell, being shocked really, and not being able to be a mother. And yet, look, I have three kids and I remember times where I am just depressed or something is going on and I have to just shift and I’m like, I’ve got children here that I’ve got to figure out how to take care of. I’ve got to snap out of this and I’ve got to do it. I guess the only question I have is how are your children managing this individually and how are you helping them navigate some of these challenges that even we as adults are faced with?
Limor Bergman Gross (14:20):
I think first of all, unfortunately in Israel we are not just proportion. I live 95 kilometers from the Gaza border. It’s not very far, but in Israel terms it’s out of we are not next to combat. We do have occasionally sirens. Unfortunately we’re kind of used to them. It’s crazy to say, but we’re used to every few months there is some kind of operation. We some we go to the shelter. So my kids are kind of in a way, it’s crazy to see, but they’re kind of used to it. The other thing is that there is a lot of transparency. Yes, we have a war. This is terrible situation that we’re in, but also be optimistic. We will survive. We will get through this. My son today, he’s 16, he went to package food for soldiers, so keep them busy. My other kids may not want to get out of the house.
They’re afraid because there may be a siren. That’s okay. Just be empathetic to everyone where they’re at, be confident, calm, reassure that We’ll get through that and just treat everyone with what they need. My older daughter was supposed to go to Vienna to represent her university and she couldn’t, obviously it was canceled. I think there are barely any flights going in and out of the country maybe just to bring people back here that were stuck outside. And she started crying yesterday. She said, I cannot bury it. Not because of her trip, but because she was watching all the news. And with social media, you see all those terrible and all stop seeing that it’s not healthy to see all those horrific videos, social media just stop and my husband kind of talk to her, try to play some music. So just for every person, just give them what they need.
Chris Hood (16:31):
It’s sad to think that anyone can get used to it or has to get used to it. But you touched on the last thing you said, give people what they need. And you discussed empathy and you even said transparency in there. I think if we brought that back to leadership again, that transparency and that empathy are critical for any business, and yet it seems to also be two traits that are often missing.
Limor Bergman Gross (16:59):
And I truly believe in both being transparent and empathetic, and that’s how I led when I was leading teams.
Chris Hood (17:07):
Tell me a little bit more about your consulting and the work that you do specifically with women.
Limor Bergman Gross (17:14):
So being a woman myself and being a lot of times the only woman in the room, especially when you get to executive roles, it is not that I felt mistreated or anything. Sometimes there are biases against me. I cannot say there weren’t. But it wasn’t easy for me. It wasn’t easy for me as a woman, as a mother, as an immigrant, to be honest, in the US because we lived nine years in the US and I want to help other women that are facing similar, maybe different situations, help them with their confidence, with realizing that they can do much more than they think they can to dare more, to be more daring, courageous. A lot of times we try to be obedience. We try to do what we are told not to overstep and not to cross any boundaries and we shouldn’t. Sometimes you can take initiatives, you can do more and be ambitious and grow. And that’s what I’m trying to help women see. And I specialize in women in tech, especially in technical roles because that’s where I come from. I can relate, I can understand very quickly the situations and help them.
Chris Hood (18:27):
There’s a lot of organizations here in the United States that support women in technology. One of my previous episodes was actually women in video games and specifically that space. When we think about bringing more women into technology, hiring is the starting point, but there’s a broader issue at play here,
Limor Bergman Gross (18:50):
And we have to keep in mind that right now we are in a point in time, meaning yes, economic situation is not great. A lot of companies are laying people off. I’m not working with women on the now and only on the now, but also we have to look into perspective and how we want the business to look like. My goal is to make an impact on this planet. That’s why I do what I do and to have more women in executive roles in C-Suite, that’s how I want the world to be honest. I want to see more women in politics also because women need to be there. We need to have diversity. And so yes, to your question, it’s not just about hiring. It’s only start with hiring, but actually I’m trying to make an impact to with women who are already there, how to help them break their inner barriers. That’s my work. It’s not the only thing, right? Companies need to also work on biases and help see those women and help them grow. My work is on with those women to help them.
Chris Hood (20:00):
When we start looking at the culture of an organization, and often you just said it, there’s biases there that are preventing women from reaching that executive level. How much of that work is directly at the women who are trying to get into the executive leadership role or has to be focused on the culture of the organization to remove the biases?
Limor Bergman Gross (20:23):
So I always try to work within the circle of control, like what you can control. So if I’m a woman, I’m mistreated, I will try to see what can I control. I can build allyship with stakeholders, build respect, sometimes bypass, identify people who are all holding me back and try to bypass them, not step on them, but bypass, find allies, find sponsors, and try to make change, influence change. When you cannot do that, just move on. But I always try to help those women be the trailblazers for others and for themselves. And a lot of times it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you can be in a culture that is not supporting you and there’s nothing you can do but to move on. But in many occasions you can actually make a difference.
Chris Hood (21:18):
And really that’s all we’re trying to do is make a difference in the world. I also think that goes back to the empathy part. We talk about empathy when it relates to each other. We often talk about empathy and the concept of our customers. We rarely talk about empathy. When we are thinking about our internal culture, our internal relationships between other employees, those cultural differences can make all the difference in the world. And earlier we were talking a little bit just about the ability to speak and transparency. It gets into the psychological safety of an organization, which I think also is rooted in empathy. All of these things are interconnected, which is why I feel like culture of any organization is going to be the one thing that you have to change in order to have these positive results that we’re talking about.
Limor Bergman Gross (22:13):
Absolutely. And some of the women I’m working with, they try to make changes, right? They’re involved in ERGs and different initiatives. I was doing that as well when I was leading, I was doing above and beyond trying to make an impact. So absolutely trying to make a change and impact. Everyone can influence. We have the power to make changes, but again, also we need to realize that sometimes there are limits to what we can do, and we need to find a balance towards making an impact to try to make a change to our wellbeing because it can be a double-edged sword when you are fighting too much. We’re trying to make a change that can take a toll on your mental health. So we always have to balance that depending obviously on the company or the culture, on what are the obstacles and so forth.
Chris Hood (23:11):
We’ll bring this back around. I think oftentimes people want to do something big to make an impact and to inspire that change, but in reality, sometimes it’s small tasks that don’t necessarily have the impact or the direct impact that we think they’re going to have, but you have to start somewhere. So I reflect on your son taking meals to the soldiers. That’s not going to really have any direct impact on the war, but it’s going to have an impact on somebody. And whether that’s a soldier that is getting a meal or whether that’s your son who’s going to get that impact. I think those small little things build up over time generates the positive momentum that we’re looking for.
Limor Bergman Gross (24:03):
Absolutely, absolutely agree with you. I have my own podcast and I post quite a lot on LinkedIn, and at times I feel like, okay, am I talking to no one, right? I mean, sometimes I feel like I’m talking and no one is listening, but once in a while I would hear someone tell me, wow, I follow you. Keep doing that. So yes, we all make impact. Every small thing can make an impact on somebody. Every piece of content you put, every source of inspiration, any kindness that you show to someone at work can be something really big to them.
Chris Hood (24:40):
I appreciate it so much. I’m so glad that you were able to log in and that we had this opportunity to chat.
Limor Bergman Gross (24:46):
Me too. Thank you so much, Chris.
Chris Hood (24:48):
And of course, thanks to all of you who are listening. If you like what you heard, please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform and leave a review. Your feedback helps us improve and grow. And if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for the show, you can connect with us throughout social media and online at Chris Hood Show. And please share this episode with your friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else looking to grow their business and start their own digital evolution. Until next week, take care and stay connected.
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