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Adaptive Leadership for Team Success

I have written in my blog about adaptive leadership in the past, but it seems especially relevant this year. Many leaders are discussing how to lead during a crisis/pandemic, so I think it helps to revisit the concept of growth mindset and the power of framing challenges toward learning and growing as a team. 2020 is the time to embrace different ideas to expand our options for a new normal in which all of the team can develop individually and collectively.

During a crisis, we naturally focus on what has been forced upon us, such as, working remotely from home, figuring out the new normal of work and socialization, and struggling to work productively without physical team connection. Many leaders are focusing on how to best manage instead of leading their teams in the "new normal." Adaptive leaders realize that when faced with change it is best to focus on learning from the whole team how to lead them toward their best working conditions and discuss solutions that work inside and outside your organization, especially with your customers.

I'll give a recent personal example from this final year of my doctoral classes. Since the beginning of my cohort program two years ago, I have asked if our cohort team could choose digital books instead of paper books so that I could always have my school books with me while traveling for work. Our leader told me that digital are more expensive than paper and not feasible for the whole team, so that would not be an option. Having digital books was vital to my productivity, so I paid for an Audible account to listen to my text books while on the road. Since the pandemic shutdown started in the U.S. in March, we have not received a paper book for any class because our text book providers have not been able to meet their mailing demand due to the shutdown. We have been given digital books until the paper books can be mailed -- an upside to the pandemic is that our team now has an option for my best learning and productivity. One resource strategy for all did not work well in our team before the pandemic.

What did the pandemic force you to consider as a leader that you hadn't considered before? Should you have been looking at more diverse options for/from your team before the pandemic? How do you listen to team members now? We have a growth opportunity to learn how to listen to our teams for their best productivity, personally and collectively. Actually, we have always had this opportunity to adapt our leadership to help our teams during change.


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