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The business environment today is ever changing, it is more immediate with instant communication, social media and the internet, more international, the workforce is more mobile and everything is much less certain and predictable than before.
So as a leader in today's world what do you need to do differently? How can you be adaptive as a leader so that you take your business to where you want it to be? Here are some characteristics of adaptive leaders which you may want to measure your own leadership against or consider adding them to your repertoire:
Flexible, adaptable and agile. Change is an essential part of business today and leaders need to be able to seek opportunities for change, effect change both within and outside their business and enable their business to be agile. Are you and your business flexible, adaptable and agile?
Proactive. Being proactive and seeking out and exploiting opportunities will ensure you achieve your business goals and objectives. Many leaders are reactive and wait for their competitors to take action, by which time it is too late. Are you and your business proactive?
Positive. If you maintain a positive attitude, this will be infectious and those around you will pick up on your positive energy. Everyone in your company will feel positive and customers will want to do business with you. This in turn will lead to you maximising the performance of your business. Do you have a positive attitude?
Focused. Keeping focused is critical to achieving your business goals especially when you can easily be distracted by the outside world and instant communication. Identify your strategy and goals, understand how you are going to get there, take action to achieve your goals and prioritise and re-prioritise as things change. Are you keeping focused on achieving your business goals?
Prepared to change direction. Often in business things do not go according to plan. You may have had a great idea but it is just not working out. Adaptive leaders assess where they are, learn from the experience and are prepared to change course. Can you admit when things are not going well and are you prepared to change direction?
Open and willing to try new things. Being open to new ideas and willing to try new things are part of being an adaptive leader. This may include learning from others, staying on top of new developments, taking manageable risks and being willing to experiment. Are you open and willing to try new things in your role?
Leadership. There are many different skills of a good leader which are pre-requisites for being an adaptive leader including being visionary, inspiring and motivating others, being customer focused, being knowledgeable and experienced which you can explore in our article What makes a good leader? How does your leadership compare?
Think and act strategically. If you want your business to grow and prosper you need to step back and make time to think and act strategically, working 'on' your business, as well as 'in' your business. Do you have a business strategy and are you being strategic?
Pay attention to the outside world. Adaptive leaders are aware of the bigger picture and what is happening outside of their business, whether this be the economy and business environment, understanding their competitors or their local economy. Are you paying attention to the world outside your business?
Building and valuing business relationships. Adaptive leaders build, develop and value business relationships, whether this be with suppliers, customers, other businesses or their staff. Great relationships enable you to achieve your business objectives, adapt and effect change. Are you building and valuing your business relationships?
So is your leadership right for today's world? What do you need to change or work on to take your business forward to where you want it to be?
Author: Liz Makin
Published: February 2015
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including anxiety management, communication, resilience, soft skills, stress management, time management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a FREE consultation session to discuss our business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services for business owners, directors, managers and professionals.