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Resilient Leadership

Resilient leadership is the term used to describe those leadership behaviors that help others withstand crisis, and adapt to or rebound from adversity (Everly, 2012).

Adults who dedicate themselves to caring for young children and managing systems of care and education know this to be true – this effort can be extremely rewarding and also very challenging. The Devereux Center for Resilient Children offers resources specifically designed for directors, supervisors and others in leadership positions.

The Devereux Resilient Leadership Survey (DERLS) is a 23-item, research-informed checklist that helps professionals reflect on behaviors associated with resilient leadership. Organized around four key protective factors – Relationships, Internal Beliefs, Initiative, and Self-Control—this tool can provide wonderful insight for leaders around areas of strength and growth opportunities in their current role.

  • The DERLS helps leaders to look at Relationships. Positive relationships in the workplace foster support, teamwork, motivation, compassion and trust. These elements of healthy relationships increase staff’s sense of connection, commitment and productivity.
  • The DERLS helps leaders to look at Internal Beliefs. Staff with positive internal beliefs feel a sense of ownership, share their strengths, think creatively, feel valued, commit to the vision and mission of the organization and are generally positive and optimistic. These elements of healthy internal beliefs create a thriving work environment where staff feel good and do good work. Staff will call upon these internal beliefs to help them stay centered, persevere during challenging times and be more resilient.
  • The DERLS helps leaders to look at Initiative. Positive initiative in the workplace results in good communication, problem-solving, professional development, growth, new ideas, positive feelings and a sense of support. These elements of healthy initiative ensure that staff are engaged, productive and proactive. Staff will call upon their initiative to think outside the box, stay positive and be more resilient.
  • The DERLS helps leaders to look at Self-Control. When positive self-control is fostered in the workplace it results in staff feeling understood, having clear boundaries, being flexible and using healthy coping skills. These elements of healthy self-control ensure that staff are able to cope with their emotions in healthy ways. Staff will call upon their self-control to keep their cool during tough times, go with the flow during chaotic times and be more resilient.

The critical work done in programs and schools is invaluable to children, families, and communities. The quality of learning children receive is largely dependent on the skill level, commitment and leadership of the adults who are employed by the program or school. Given these implications, it is important for programs and schools to utilize resources that promote the well-being and resilience of staff and leaders. We invite you to join our efforts to promote leadership through resilience, reflection and renewal!


1 (866) 872-4687

444 Devereux Drive

Villanova, PA 19085