Is Theresa May Resilient?

Mmmmmm - sort of.

I’m desperately attempting not to give a politician’s answer to this one!

However, the only reason I’m struggling with a binary answer, is it depends on how you’re viewing Resilience.
(Binary answer at the end).

I predominately take a positive psychology approach around “Thriving rather than surviving”, so based upon that - “no” would be my answer.

Thriving or surviving?

Thriving or surviving?

However, she certainly is:

⁃ Determined
⁃ Seeing something through to the end
⁃ Keeping going
⁃ Facing into adversity
⁃ Driven by a Purpose (“I am here to Govern”)
⁃ Showing fortitude
⁃ Dogged
⁃ Single-minded
⁃ Committed
⁃ Tenacious
⁃ Stoic
⁃ Etc etc etc

Based upon the above - absolutely “yes”

Many, if not all, managers and leaders today have to take on and deliver tasks, projects, ideas, that can be challenging to implement - how much of the above list are you doing? Does it help you feel resilient and positive?

When working with my clients, many of our Coaching Conversations are underpinned by the Resilience Wheel that I have on my website, this has 7 elements:

⁃ Attitude (the heart of Resilience)
⁃ Purpose
⁃ Adaptability
⁃ Confidence
⁃ Support Network
⁃ Meaning
⁃ Energy


(I’ve never met with or spoken to Mrs May, therefore, my reflections are only upon what I’ve observed over time.)

In my opinion Mrs May’s Attitude is informed by her Purpose; I have heard her state on numerous occasions that she is here is “to Govern” and “I am dedicated to Public Office” and “take the responsibility for tough decisions and see them through to the end”. From this I believe her singular focus is to be able to sit back at some future point, with her husband and a glass of whiskey and be able to say “I delivered Brexit”.

That’s it - nothing less and nothing more.

Therefore, she has a Purpose and has the determined, dedicated, single-minded, dogged andcommitted mindset to achieve this.

This also appears to energise her to keep going.

Support Network:

This section of Resilience is about who you have in your life that either energises you and is enjoyable to spend time with or is a challenge and a struggle to be around and they negatively affect how you feel.

Who does Mrs May go to for positively energising support and who might be a drain on her reserves? (!!!!!)

From what I have read, it seems that all she needs to relax and wind-down, is a moment with her husband at the end of the day and a glass of something. She appears to be highly self-sufficient in this regard.

How self-sufficient are you and what is the balance of the people in your lives that either energise or de-energise you?

In terms of all those around her who could be a drain on her energy levels, I am reminded of the oft-quoted Winston Churchill sentence - “If you’re going through hell, keep going”.

Whilst double-checking on this quote, I read something that mentioned Mr Churchill had delivered a speech at his old school in 1941 and expanded on his meaning. The piece I read added that he said - “never give in, never, never, never, never in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

This brings me to:


This is about how you approach change and how much you see change as an opportunity.

I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Mrs May state on numerous occasions that “I believe this deal is good for Britain” i.e. it’s an opportunity, in her mind.

So - how adaptable is Mrs May?

(Note to reader - I’ve spent a very long time staring at my keyboard on this one!)

On the one hand, I’ve observed her state many similar sentences, publicly, for a few years now and this is followed up with a suite of consistent behaviours.

Her style and approach to her role has been to take-in and own all of the information, all of the requirements, all of the problems and challenges all of the tasks and wrap her arms around them and take it upon herself to devise a solution. I am fascinated to understand who she listens to within this approach.

This style must play to her strengths, must be comfortable for her and must energise her.

This style appears to fit with her self-sufficiency.

All of my conversations with my clients include moments of clarifying their strengths and then finding ways to utillise them. We often discuss the question of “when I am at my best I......?”

However, this conversation around strengths is always coupled with a chat about “if I over-play my strengths, what would the consequences be?”

What are your strengths?
When you’re at your best, what is happening?
And, finally, if you over-played your strengths what would the consequences be?

Going back to Mrs May, on the other hand, she has had to compromise throughout her negotiations with the European Union and her political colleagues, therefore, she’s adapted.

Let’s go back to the original question around Resilience - from what you’ve read so far, do you believe Mrs May is Thriving (or surviving)?

Having read this blog - do you think/feel as though you’re Thriving or surviving, whilst delivering the solutions you need to in your work and life?


This is about how we describe our thoughts and feelings to others (and therefore, ourselves) about the events on any given day in our lives.

Simplistically and to start with it’s your answer to “how is your day going?”

I would love to be a fly on the wall anytime Mrs May is asked this by her husband! In public her answer is - “I’m delivering Brexit for the people”.

In conclusion.....

Mrs May is certainly determined, dedicated, purposeful, dogged and committed.

However, no - I don’t believe she is Resilient.

Thanks for reading.