Posted by Adaptable Leadership - Building Leaders for Changing Times on 11/03/2008

Today's corporate leadership training courses focus too much on teaching leaders what to think rather than how to think.  Stephen Zacarro, a noted psychologist at George Mason University, says that most leadership training classes focus on developing routine expertise.  This traditional leadership training methodology teaches leaders highly proceduralized skills that are not transferable when problems become non-routine, novel and ill-defined.  

To train leaders to be adaptable we must focus on teaching them how to think. Adaptable leaders are comfortable operating in a complex environment when solutions to problems are not clear. Training for leadership adaptability requires leaders to be put into a wide variety of leadership challenges and asked to come up with creative and manageable solutions to the problems. Adaptable leaders thrive in uncertainty and are comfortable learning as they go.  Traditional leadership training will hinder adaptability when problems are complex and solutions are not clear.