In order for organizations to be nimble, they need leaders who are nimble — who aren’t just going to “stay the course” for the sake of staying the course. Among the 10 qualities of true leaders, one key capability is adaptability.
Why? Because people and circumstances are constantly changing. Organizations that survive are those that are nimble to enough to adapt to those changing circumstances
As the saying goes, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”
Nimble, adaptable leaders are able to look at what’s happening — whether it’s a minor shift in trends or a cataclysmic shift in the economy — and make changes.
Those may not necessarily be changes to your principles or missions — but they may very well be practical changes in the way you do business.
But of course it’s not just on a long-term that leaders need to be adaptable — they also need to be adaptable in their daily work lives. That is, true leaders can handle sudden changes in schedules, unexpected technical problems, or a financial crisis without losing their cool. Instead they assess the situation, decide on a course of action, and go for it — understanding they may need to alter that course if need be the next day.
Want more information on adaptability? Check out this article on the need for cognitive, emotional, and dispositional adaptability in their article, “Flexible Flyers.”