[April 04 2015] There is evidence, mostly circumstantial, that leaders today are less adaptable to change than ever before. Furthermore, leaders are likely to be also less resilient, lacking in courage, and less truthful. No surprise then that most Americans have less confidence in leadership than ever before.
The world is changing at a pace that seems to accelerate faster and with greater potential for humankind. Change implies that to be successful one must also be adaptable. It also means solving problems creatively, dealing with the unpredictable, handling crises, and learning new ways of doing things. It means that everyone, especially leaders, will be out of their comfort zones when dealing with change.
Here are a few tips for leaders who desire to have greater adaptability. Yet leaders must remember that if they do fail to adapt, they will not only fail themselves but also the people that work for them and the organizations where they work.
- Give more consideration to new ideas and help create an environment that encourages creativity. For a leader with good social skills, this will be easier.
- Question the reasoning why we do certain things and the way they are done. Be more flexible, rather than providing an immediate decision. Consider alternative methods.
- Think! Leaders often react with known solutions rather than thinking through other possibilities.
- Be willing to take greater risks. More than anything else, a leader with moral courage can have a greater impact than others with fear in their hearts.
- Have a willingness to be an early adopter of small changes; like technological tools and systems. This helps create a pattern that the leader is an innovator and capable to accepting new ways.
Adaptability means giving the leader an edge in competition within others in an organization. It means the leader must look at themselves and admit their weaknesses and possess the desire to improve. Adapting is stretching ones awareness and taking advantage of limits imposed from the outside.
Are leaders more adaptable? No. While many will disagree with this assessment, no one will disagree that the pace of change is increasing and the need for adaptable leadership is necessary for a better future. America needs adaptable leaders who are willing to do good things for the betterment of the nation and for all of humankind.
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