Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 9/19/2008

Leadership training has to be modified if the goal is for an organization's leaders to be adaptable. Adaptable Leadership training requires an approach that is unique to the vast majority of leadership training available today.

Stephen Zaccaro from George Mason University says that training for adaptability requires a different approach. Traditional leadership training focuses on developing "routine expertise." This training helps leaders to perform very well in familiar situations. These leaders know that when specific challenges arise they respond in certain ways. A great example of this procedularized approach is Situational Leadership Theory from Blanchard and Hershey. Situational Leadership suggests that leaders should change their approach based on how much direction and support their followers need. As these two variables change, the leadership style changes. This traditional approach to leadership training hinders performance when problems become non-routine, novel and ill-defined (Kozlowski, 1998).

Adaptable Leadership Theory recognizes that there is a multitude of variables that impact what the best leadership approach is. Adaptable Leaders are highly self-aware. They understand their strengths, weaknesses and how they are perceived by others. Adaptable Leaders are also highly situationally aware. They have the peripheral vision to read all environmental factors that may be influencing a leadership challenge.

Training for Adaptable Leadership requires an approach completely unique to what most people are accustomed to. If you want your organizational leaders to be adaptable make sure that you train with that goal in mind. Leaders are not adaptable just because you tell them they should be.


Anonymous said...

Being adaptable in leadership situations is a must - without this tool or trait, one would resort to using routine tactics that may not be viable and cause ill-will within team members. Adaptability is a absolutely a great tool to use within leadership training.

Marcey Walsh, Director Institute for Pattern Literacy LLC said...

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