ATLIS Reads: Positively Resilient by Doug Hensch

To launch our newest year-long book seminar for technology thought leaders later this month, Connie White, Director of Learning Design and Innovation at Woodward Academy, GA,  previews Positively Resilient: 5 1/2 Secrets to Beat Stress, Overcome Obstacles, and Defeat Anxiety by Doug Hensch in this post. You can learn more and register for ATLIS Reads here. Upcoming books for our ATLIS Reads conversations include SCRUM: The Art of Doing Half Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland and JJ Sutherland; Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick People, Probabilities, and Big Moves to Beat the Odds by Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, Sven Smit; and Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott. -- SD [10-minute read]


ATLIS Reads: A Book Seminar for Technology Thought Leaders
2020-2021 Theme: Leading Schools Amid Rapid Change
September Selection: Doug Hensch, Positively Resilient: 5 1/2 Secrets to Beat Stress, Overcome Obstacles, and Defeat Anxiety
September 23, 1 pm Eastern

Registration includes 4 webinar conversations and 1 reflective micro-course; FREE to ATIS Members; $129 for non-members. Learn more and register for ATLIS Reads here.

headshotGuest Blogger and Conversation Leader:

Connie White
Director of Learning Design and Innovation
Woodward Academy, College Park, GA
During this unprecedented time of COVID-19, a valuable conversation for all technology leaders addresses how one can benefit from a resilient way of thinking. Actually, with all that we are managing, this topic is more important now than ever before. This easy-to-read book provides several research-based suggestions to help us thrive in our constantly changing, unpredictable world.

Our resilience discussion will include immediate suggestions for personal change, the importance of being psychologically flexible with all that we are dealing with, the significance of having meaningful connections, and more.

book cover


What is resilience? Is it just a fancy way to characterize a hopeful, upbeat personality or a positive spirit of never giving up? In Positively Resilient, Doug Hensch aims to take a different look at what turns out to be a much richer and deeper concept than just bouncing back from adversity.

Martin Seligman, considered the father of positive psychology, has likened resilience to clearing the weeds from a rose garden, which can only reach its potential if the weeds are kept in check. Human beings face “weeds” of their own: Layoffs, health issues, stock market crashes, threats of terrorism, and natural disasters are all too common. Americans are busier, more stressed, and more anxious and depressed than they were during the Great Depression. Based on more than 40 years of research and 20 years of professional experience, Positively Resilient will help you discover:

  • How any efforts toward personal change can be enhanced using several simple steps.
  • That being psychologically flexible is critical to thinking through the mountain of information we receive every day.
  • How to incorporate mindfulness and curiosity into your life.
  • How our emotions help us to navigate our environment.
  • Why true support and connection are critical to being resilient.”

Discussion Questions

  1. Be comfortably uncomfortable. The book explains that change is the transformation that is going to involve some hurt. Hensch goes on to say that if you are not at least a little bit uncomfortable, you are probably not growing. How did change result in growth as we implemented remote learning in the Spring?

  2. Consider how quickly you judge other people. At times, we may make assumptions about a situation or a person without considering alternative reasons for someone's behavior. How might this affect how we connect or develop a relationship with that person? Can you think of how this might be applied when working with students or co-workers during the past several stressful months?

  3. The next time you feel the urge to change something that really bothers you about a student or co-worker, just be curious about it. What happens when you suspend your immediate judgment of a situation during this unprecedented time?

  4. Hensch shares that Liz Wiseman, in her book Rookie Smarts, argues that the new essential tools in the business world are not centered around experience, but the willingness and ability to learn. The "rookie" is more likely to succeed if she embraces her curiosity by experimenting with new ideas rather than falling back on years of knowledge and "best practices." Rookies learn from their mistakes and seek counsel from others, whereas veterans often spend their time and energy proving they have all the knowledge. What will taking on the attributes of a "rookie" look like when preparing to lead this school year?

  5. We know how important connections and relationships are to our students and colleagues. Did you know that students' problem-solving capabilities increase when they have opportunities to work with others? How might we consider building this challenge into our interactions this year? 

Questions modified from Hensch, Doug. Positively Resilient: 5 1/2 Secrets to Beat Stress, Overcome Obstacles, and Defeat Anxiety, New Page Books, , 2017.

Share this post:

Comments on "ATLIS Reads: Positively Resilient by Doug Hensch"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment