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Resourcefulness is identified as one of Matter’s top soft skills that is linked to performance, development, and career success.
Matter’s definition of
Overcomes challenging problems in an effective way.
Matter is based on an ontology of over
30 recommended skills.

What is Resourcefulness?

Resourcefulness is about getting things done in the face of obstacles and constraints. This means approaching what’s in front of you and optimizing what you have, whether you’re making something new or just thinking about how to do something better.

Resourceful leaders are imaginative and persistent. They embody the growth mindset by staying positive and always pushing themselves to improve.

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Resourceful Leaders You May Know

Brian Chesky

Starting out as a personal need, Chesky turned his “air mattress with bed and breakfast” business into a hospitality marketplace empire. Today, Airbnb boasts 6 million listings and on any given night, two million guests stay at one of Airbnb’s rentals. Recently, the company launched Trips to allow travelers to tailor unique experiences that give them the optimal vacation opportunity.

Lynda Weinman

The founder of Lynda.com started her platform to have an easy way to communicate with her web design students. She then saw the potential to reach others who were seeking information and instruction in tech, business, or the creative arts. Her company ultimately sold to LinkedIn for $1.5 billion.

Madam C.J. Walker

Born in extremely difficult circumstances, Walker had to be resourceful to overcome her situation and find success. She worked as a washerwoman for $1.50 a day to put her daughter through school and attended night school. After developing a scalp disorder that caused hair loss, she leveraged her resourcefulness to create a line of hair products through her self-made business Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. Walker became one of the first female self-made millionaires in history.

Why Resourcefulness Is Important


Resourceful leaders and companies use their constraints as a launch pad, a place to spark creativity and explore new solutions.


Resourceful individuals meet challenges head-on and look for simple ways to solve difficult problems. Challenges don’t intimidate them, but inspire them.

Redefine Impossibilities

Resourceful leaders know how to get the most value out of what they have right now. They don’t waste time wishing for something better when they can create it.

What Resourcefulness is NOT About

Solo Shows

Resourceful people inspire others to fully contribute toward the shared vision and goals. They know when and how to delegate.


There is a big difference between optimizing a resource and using it up. You have to respect people’s time and shared resources.

Self Glorification

It isn’t about getting all the credit. Truly resourceful leaders know that credit needs to be shared and celebrated together.

Abilities That Lead To The Mastery of Resourcefulness


Being Confident

Believe you are capable of handling any problem placed in front of you. You must believe and know that you are capable to achieve anything you set your mind to. Hold the mindset that workable solutions exist for every problem.


Being Imaginative

Being imaginative will help you overcome obstacles. Look at challenges in new ways and come up with resourceful solutions to conflicts. When trying to solve problems, come up with outlandish possibilities as well as practical ones. Allow your mind to wander. Never stop your creative process, as you may talk yourself out of a great idea.


Being Proactive

There is no such thing as procrastination in the mindset of those who are resourceful. To be successful you cannot wait for the right resources or people to show up. There is no waiting. Get out there and create your own resources. When you are resourceful you do not allow outside circumstances to determine when or how you take action.


Keeping an Open Mind

Open-minded people are passionate about breaking boundaries and redefining what is and is not possible. You want to remain open when considering new ideas and differing thoughts from your own. Open-mindedness is critical when taking the actions that will lead you towards success.


Never Giving Up

To be resourceful you can never give up. If you stop trying before a problem is solved then you haven't accomplished anything. Don't give up the fight simply because obstacles present themselves on your path. Trust that every “No” puts you that much closer to the “Yes” you are looking for.


Staying Positive

Possessing a resourceful mindset requires you to stay positive. There is a solution to every problem. Train yourself to see the positive in every situation. As you cultivate a positive outlook you will see it is easier to come up with solutions.

Who can benefit from practicing Resourcefulness?

Explore Complementary Skills to Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness shouldn’t be practiced in a vacuum. Improve your Resourcefulness by exploring and developing these complementary skills.