Are you an adaptive leader?
If you want to excel as a Manager to help your organisation thrive in a changing world, to strengthen your practice of leadership and help others strengthen their capacity for change then you will have to embody an adaptive leadership style. But what makes an adaptive leader?
An adaptive leader needs to drive their team to focus on business goals and keep them motivated by drawing on positives. Adaptive leaders aren’t micromanagers – they focus on the what and the why! They need to be both a coach and a career counselor. By making a priority of the employees’ career aspirations’ and developmental needs, adaptive leaders will get the best out of their employees as the employee’s goals will align with those of the organisation.
A notable example of an adaptive leader would be this year’s England Ashes captain, Joe Root. Root faced challenges from day 1 as England found themselves behind in a home series against Australia for the first time in 14 years after Australia won the first Test Match by 251 runs. He has learned to identify and capitalise on smart risks and avoid wasteful distractions, leading to the success of a draw during the Second Test, when it looked like England were heading for a second defeat.
Root was able to keep his team motivated, drawing on confidence from the fact that they have not lost consecutive Tests against anyone for over 11 years, despite having lost 6 of the previous 7 Test Matches to Australia.
Adaptive leaders understand that situations constantly evolve and require both flexibility and innovation. In the instance of when employees call in sick, hand in their notice or if external factors such as the weather effects the working of the business. An adaptive leader would, act with a level head, be open to experimentation and risktaking and embraces diversity of views, taking advantage collective knowledge to benefit the organisation.
Many researchers show that adaptive leaders also have strong emotional intelligence, they don’t shy away from the truth which makes those who deliver the message feel respected and valued.
Adaptive leadership can provide Chief Executives and others in influential positions the opportunity to maximize the skills of employees, as well as attain goals. Adaptive leaders have intangible qualities, unique combinations of skills, perspectives and unwavering effort that enables true excellence.
So, what can you do to adopt an adaptive leadership style?
- Expect the unexpected: Adaptive leaders are well-prepared and expect their plans to change, as did Root with the uncertainty of the British weather anticipating batting orders may change.
- Channel fear into positivity: Just like Root did, even though England had lost 6 out of 7 previous matches he kept moral up by drawing on a positive.
- Be open to learn and change: Leaders that think they have nothing left to learn nor do they feel like they have an obligation to teach those they lead ensure they will never meet their true potential.
- Don’t shy away from the truth: Learn how to unite what your team think, what they want to hear, and how they want to hear it. Understanding and valuing your team opinions will earn their respect.