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Consultant Proficiency Resources: Tips on Becoming a More Effective Leader-Adaptability

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

This week Consultant Proficiency Resources (CPR) continues its "Become More a More Effective Leader" series with a focus on Adaptability. Last week, CPR's post noted that adaptability is a crucial skill needed for 21st-century leadership. With the proliferation of technology and global interdependence, leaders often encounter complex situations that must be addressed. A leader can become more adaptable in various situations simply by considering each challenge a valuable learning experience.

Authors of Adaptive Leadership (Heifetz, Linsky, and Grashow, 2009) suggested that a leader that practices adaptive leadership allows the leader to be more agile when making decisions and ultimately executing strategy. Ultimately a leader must understand the importance of operating multiple systems is critical to adaptive leadership.

Indeed Career Guide 2023 article offered a few traits of an adaptive leader, that include the following:

  • Goal-oriented: Adaptive leaders link systematic change to long-term organizational goals. They take action with a specific result in mind.

  • Open-minded: Adaptive leaders create an open-minded and progressive environment in which to work. They can accept mistakes as part of the process of learning and growing.

  • Appreciative of challenges: Adaptive leaders appreciate challenges and understand that reaching a long-term solution may take several attempts. They prepare their team members for problem-solving.

  • Committed: Adaptive leaders know that change takes time and are ready to commit the necessary time to create a better organization.

  • Proactive: Adaptive leaders take a proactive approach, identifying challenges and investing the resources for solutions as quickly as possible.

  • Curious: Adaptive leaders are curious. They embrace uncertainty and understand that sometimes, lacking an immediate solution to a challenge is part of the process of positive change.

  • Experimental: Adaptive leaders love experiments and troubleshooting. They're prepared to reflect on their work and redirect, and they understand that tackling vague, complex issues requires trial and error.

  • Emotionally aware: Adaptive leaders are as concerned with relationships as they may be about profits. That understanding helps them ensure that organizational members and other stakeholders are supportive of any long-term changes.

Adaptive leadership seeks to resolve recurring organizational problems through systematic change. Unlike traditional leadership, which relies on problem-solving from a few top-level managers, adaptive leadership enlists the creativity of an entire organization to address challenges. Adaptive leadership can be adopted within any organization or industry. Ultimately, Adaptive leadership is an inclusive leadership style that cultivates a positive or healthy workforce where creativity flourishes. Please be sure to consider adopting some of the above traits.

Warm Regards,


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