All good leaders must be flexible and adaptable. Leaders who think they know everything better than anyone else in their organization is likely to fail. The best leaders learn from others and adjust their plans to change circumstances. They have the ability to swing when necessary, but also lead by sticking to the core values. Here are three ways that successful leaders succeed by being flexible and adaptable:
- Addressing Challenges By Learning: Every group presents obstacles when they set themselves up to reach the goal. Leaders must help their people and organization to succeed by overcoming these challenges. The best way for any leader to overcome the challenges is to step back and see what's working and what's not working. This is a skill called discipline and it is an important skill for all leaders where you can not expect to know how to do everything. They must "learn how to succeed" as a team. The best leaders create learning in their organization by guiding the team to regularly evaluate how they are doing, especially after major events. By compiling their team and discussing what works and what does not work, the leader can set the stage to adjust his approach and make improvements in the future. Large companies like General Electric have done this by setting up plans like the GE "Workout" courses and the US Army has done it with "after their actions". Regardless of what it is called, the discipline of institutional education is the key to leadership success, and successful leaders adapt to what they have learned to make constant adjustments to achieve their goals.
- Using Relevant Leaders: Daniel Goleman, an expert in emotional intelligence and leadership, describes six key leadership styles. After extensive research, he finds that no best leadership style exists. Leaders must be flexible and adaptable to using styles that fit the situation and their organization. In some cases, democratic style works best when time is not urgent and information can be shared. However, in other situations like a crisis, management style could be more appropriate to make decisions quickly and exit the hazardous area. Thus, the best leaders become flexible and move from one style to another, either suitable for their circumstances and their team.
- Customized Reform Modified: Organizational character is an important part of successful team action; although no plans are perfect and the leader must be flexible in order to adapt the program to changing circumstances. Nothing is stable, and today's change is faster and more frequent than almost any time in the past. The best leaders plan for the future and for uncertainty; However, they also know that plans will be adapted when planning assumptions are no longer valid. Although the plans can change, the leader will still try to work in relation to their core security. Thus, they will make appropriate changes and continue to proceed without compromising their fundamental and validity.
These are just three ways that demonstrate that leaders must be flexible and adaptable. Successful leaders are always in line with their operating environment. Sometimes this is referred to as local awareness. They assess the information available to them and make changes to their approach, style, and plans to succeed, but are still their true value. While leaders need to demonstrate perseverance to achieve their goals, they must also be flexible and adaptable in their approaches to accomplish their tasks. Knowing when to get stuck and when to be flexible is the art of leadership.