Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #31
From the Greenbelt of Boise, Idaho, Forsythia blossoming
While we do not often consider the growth of people’s minds in the same way we consider the growth of their skills, both kinds of growth have a vital part to play in a person’s success and effectiveness. … Leaders with different forms of mind will have different capacities to take the perspectives of others, to be self-directed, to generate and modify systems, to manage conflicts, and to deal with paradox.
– Jennifer Garvey Berger
Leadership agility is directly analogous to organizational agility: It’s the ability to take wise and effective action amid complex, rapidly changing conditions. – Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs
We face an increasing rate of change and a growing level of interdependence and complexity in today’s world. Yet even the word “change” can trigger us to anticipate threats and adopt a defensive posture. We can quickly shift from a state of trust to distrust.
“Complexity” can cause us to feel overwhelmed, and react by focusing down to what we know and can control. For leaders, this can quickly become an inflection point in the trajectory of their agenda or business.
Consider the recent attempt to repeal-replace the Affordable Care Act. A proposed solution was rushed through committees, triggering significant divisiveness across the country and within the majority party in Congress, and outright rejection from the minority party. The leadership response was to force a vote. When approval proved impossible the vote was withdrawn.
There is little doubt that “Change” is needed with the U.S. Healthcare System, yet it appears we’re missing what Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs call Leadership Agility: “the ability to take wise and effective action amid complex, rapidly changing conditions.” Whether the recent vote is an inflection point or not remains to be seen.
Unfortunately, this type of situation plays out in organizations of all sizes every day. Forcing quick “solutions” based on what can be authoritatively controlled usually leads to greater distrust and disengagement. Repeated over time it kills momentum in organizations, and can spiral down into resentment, anger and hatred.
To creatively engage and address complex situations requires a different form of leadership thinking and being. This means developing more than a set of skills, it also means developing how we think and approach complex situations. To create a better future and thrive, we need as Jennifer Garvey Berger describes, an improved “capacity to take the perspective of others, be self-directed, generate and modify systems, manage conflicts and deal with paradox.”
We have a critical need to develop our Leadership Agility to creatively respond to the environment in which we live and work.
- What are the complex situations you face in your life, organization and business?
- How are you reacting to them?
- How might you respond with greater Leadership Agility?
I work with executives and professionals to confidently lead in the face of uncertainty and complexity with greater agility. Together we build trust, and cultivate leadership and organizational effectiveness to create a better future today. To learn more visit here.
Let’s create a better future today!