9 September 2015, Written by Paris Faint


STACEY Copas knows it's tough for bosses to hold their A-game in the face of adversity.

As a keynote speaker and consultant to major Australian organisations including Telstra and the CSIRO, the South Australian Paralympic hopeful has built a career by drawing on her own experience to guide businesses around the country to strength and success.

In her new book How to be Resilient, she makes the vital point that executives need to find ways to adapt within unexpected industry drawbacks instead of being defeated by them. 

"I'm brought into organisations where executives are struggling with the issue of being visible all the time, balanced with motivating their teams while they may be under huge pressure and stress," says Copas.

"In a world where change is the new constant, business leaders need to arm themselves with easy strategies to enable them to deal with trouble, challenges or situations out of their control."

According to The Positive Psychology Institute, more than 37 per cent of executives in Australia are suffering the psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety, a finding that Copas says isn't surprising given the modern company environment.

Many leaders often struggle to put academic business theory into practice when it comes to solving their problems, which is why CEOs have found Copas' more pragmatic approach invaluable when it comes to keeping their companies strong.

"I'm not an academic and I'm not a psychologist; it's all about the life experience I've had and that's what people are really connecting with," she says.

After sustaining a terrible injury in her younger years which left her quadriplegic, Copas' journey is an admirable example of resilience in the face of adversity that executives find they can apply to their own working lives.

Her two biggest pieces of advice to business leaders are to take due responsibility for setbacks and surround themselves with a core group of people who will help find solutions and provide consistent support.

"Rather than pointing the finger, it's important to take ownership for any given situation and become solution orientated," says Copas.

"[Leaders] need to create a support network around themselves who are going to be encouraging and supportive, while minimising the amount of time they spend with people who keep telling them all the reasons why something isn't going to work."

On top of the success of her new book launch, Copas is currently in training for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Author: Paris Faint





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