Business leaders in today’s fast-moving, ever-changing world need to constantly evolve to stay competitive and relevant in their industry. To succeed and help their organizations grow, top executives also need to become comfortable with sudden change and uncertainty, according to research analyzing the leadership qualities of several executives.
That is why learning agility, as Columbia University Teacher’s College researchers called it, has become a critical leadership skill. Learning agility is described as the ability to grow from mistakes, stay flexible and rise to various challenges. It is basically the ability to know what to do when you don’t know what to do.
Below, 13 leading coaches from Forbes Coaches Council discuss what it takes to become a more agile leader and why this is so important in today’s world.
1. Embrace Your Team
Being an agile leader is important in order to keep up with the pace of business, technology, and life in today’s world. Become more agile by embracing your team. Welcome new thoughts and ideas, challenge your team to challenge one another (and you), and let creativity flow. Agility is rooted in continuous improvement, so let perfectionism grow. Embrace this leadership journey as a process. – Lizabeth Czepiel, Lizabeth Czepiel, LLC
2. Know Where You’re Going
You become more agile when you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. You can’t strive blindly into goals and expect to fulfill them. Passion plays a huge role as well because loving what you do, having a drive for what you do, having the attitude for what you do, and having a vision for where you want to go, is vital and necessary to your growth as an agile leader. – Keishorne Scott, Keishorne Scott LLC
3. Think Globally And Embrace Talent
Culture is impacting the workplace at a pace unseen before, especially with five generations working together for the first time in history. Stay current with world affairs and understand how this impacts business and your employees. Secondly, create an environment for employee skill share and understanding among the represented generations. You will build agility in your management approach. – LaKisha Greenwade, Lucki Fit LLC
4. Go Outside Of Your Usual Circle For Insight
A consistent trait among agile leaders is that they make it a practice to constantly learn new skills and ideas by purposefully seeking and using approaches from outside of their typical circle. Learn from leaders who are different than you. Go outside your division, company and industry. Share your business challenges, ask how they solve similar problems. Expand your approach to remain relevant. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
5. Exercise Your Body And Mind
Exercising your body and mind are key to staying agile as a leader. If you’re not exercising your body on a regular basis, your mental clarity and energy levels will be less than optimum. What you fuel your body and mind with has an impact on how you show up as a leader. Today’s world is fast-paced, and to keep up with the best, you have to be at the top of your game. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC
6. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Agility comes from trying new things and not being afraid to fail. It means knowing your limits and pushing your “edges” by developing new nuanced skills and abilities. Be prepared to measure success and switch gears if you are not getting the intended result. This is critical if leaders are going to help teams become more agile — a skill necessary to be competitive on a global stage. – Barbara OMalley, Exec Advance LLC
7. Listen, Listen, Listen
Becoming agile begins with understanding the changing circumstances, opportunities and challenges around you. Actively seek out opportunities to listen and learn from your team, your peers and a wide variety of people outside your organization. Listen for feedback, trends, opportunities, problems, relationships and ideas. The more you listen every day, the more quickly you can shift! – Jenn Lofgren, Incito Consulting
8. Think And Move Quickly
Being agile is being able to think and move quickly with accuracy. In a microwave society, a leader must be able to keep up. One moment of distraction or too many moments of not being adaptable can lead to a failing situation. You are a leader for a reason, so own it. Get excellent at what you know and better at what you don’t know so you’ll never miss a beat. – Maleeka T. Hollaway, The Official Maleeka Group, LLC.
9. Develop Confidence With Uncertainty
The world is changing fast. Being agile is being able to make changes and adapt to a new environment. Learn to let go of needing to know all the answers before you act. Make a change and adapt if the change didn’t work. Don’t get bogged down in why a change failed, because by the time you figure it out, the answer won’t matter anymore. Change. Adapt. Change. Know you’ll be OK. – Larry Boyer, Success Rockets LLC
10. Act Like A Scientist
By developing an agile mindset and behavior, you will be able to drive change in a dynamic environment. When industries are being made and broken in years rather than decades, successful leaders need to build personal agility. This means moving from knowing to acting like a scientist. Agile leaders develop a hypothesis about the next step, then conduct small experiments and learn continually. – Maureen Metcalf, Metcalf & Associates, Inc
11. Know And Develop Yourself
People with high levels of self-awareness and who cultivate mindfulness tend to have greater self-control, are more flexible, and are able to choose their responses. When we know our strengths, our triggers, vulnerabilities, and our patterns of responding in conflict and under stress, we increase our capacity to choose a quality and even creative response, rather than give a knee-jerk reaction. – Christine Allen, Insight Business Works
12. Take Action In Spite Of Fear
Agile leaders aren’t superhuman. However, one thing that makes them stand out is how they deal with fear. They face it head on and take action anyway. Because being agile suggests a willingness to learn faster and produce higher quality results, no leader wants fear thwarting these efforts. Agility is an important skill in today’s business world because it helps leaders course correct. – Karima Mariama-Arthur, WordSmithRapport
13. Be Willing To Fail
Be willing to experiment and to fail. Thomas Edison said, “I’ve not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” In the same way, a leader needs to assume things can always adapt and seek feedback in real time (positive or negative). Doing things the same way over and over isn’t agile, it’s comfortable. Get good at being objective and be willing to adapt. Take ego out of it the best you can. – David Butlein, BLUECASE Strategic Partners
Source : Forbes