Over the past month I have been writing a series on how to be a great leader – how to become an adaptive leader. In today’s context there is an urgent need to rethink the approach and practice of leadership. This need to rethink extends to how we approach leadership development and education.
The series ‘On becoming an adaptive leader’ involves a short ‘head’ (theory) piece – something that I have promised can be read in under a minute, and a ‘hand’ piece – a practical action you can undertake to begin to build the adaptive behaviour. It is simple almost to the point of fault but it seems to be helping people ‘land’ the concept and translate the theory into practice. The onus to write something sensible and useful three times a week is a challenge I have greatly enjoyed. It has meant looking for small specific actions that on their own don’t amount to much but strung together, can make a meaningful difference. I guess it is a little like going to gym in order to get fit. Individual sessions seem to accomplish little but the accumulative effect of many sessions results in progress being made. It takes discipline. It also takes a clear sight of some end goal or destination.
So, what kind of leader do you want to be – and what are you doing to ‘get there’? These are important questions for any leader to have a bearing on, as they will bring intentionality to that which you do. The model of Invitational Leadership has been one that I have always found enriching and helpful. Embedded within this particular leadership model is the notion of intentionality. Smart leaders act with intentionality – they know why they are doing something if not always certain about how they need to be doing it. Intentionality means that when things work you know why they work; and importantly. When things don’t work, you know why they didn’t work.
Today leaders need to be agile, nimble and adaptive. The real challenge of course is turning these verbs into behaviours that can be seen and perhaps measured. Adaptive leaders understand the importance of leading through change and helping those they lead make progress on those tough challenges that confront them. The series ‘On becoming an adaptive leader’ is designed to help you – and me, think about what this means and how best to translate the ‘theory’ into ‘practice’. Leadership needs constant work. To assume otherwise is a danger to both oneself and those being led.
So, what kind of leader do you want to be? What are you doing to ‘get there’?