Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #38
From the Greenbelt of Boise, Idaho, Bright sun, and river rising
Agility: the ability to move quickly and easily
Leadership Agility is the ability to take wise and effective action amid complex, rapidly changing conditions.
– Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs
I grew up moving often, living more than a dozen different places before leaving my family to go to college. In my mind, I was flexible and adaptable, confident I could respond effectively in different situations.
Over twenty-eight years at Hewlett Packard I continued moving from one role to another. I enjoyed new opportunities to learn and create better solutions. Over time, I began to bump into situations that didn’t work out the way I wanted them to. I struggled to make sense of things and chose to work harder.
I fell into thinking that more detailed analysis and getting more tasks done would yield better outcomes. I didn’t realize at the time I was relying on conditioned patterns (habits) I’d developed earlier in my life. I was reinforcing the same patterns, not developing new ones to agilely respond.
It took many years to realize my habitual reactions were no longer serving me the way I wanted them to. Starting a practice of Aikido helped me see my reactions in a new light. Regular practice now enables me to observe my reactions in real time, and with training develop more creative responses.
As I started training with a partner attacking, I realized I’d lean in with my head, and contract my muscles to ward them off while looking for a safe way out. The story in my mind about how good a training partner they were or weren’t quickly revved up. I’d lose sight of where I was, freeze and then try to make something happen by pushing harder.
Now I’m able to catch myself and blend in response more quickly and easily. Knowing where I am in each moment has become critically important to me. Am I stuck in my own story and freezing in place? Or, am I relaxed and aware, entering in fully to create with what’s possible now?
It is easy to get stuck in our conditioned reactions. Learning new creative ways to respond develops our Leadership Agility.
I partner with executives and professionals to confidently lead in the face of uncertainty and complexity. Together we build trust, and cultivate leadership agility and organizational effectiveness to create a better future today. To learn more visit here.
Let’s create a better future today!