How to improve your adaptability
One clear lesson from the coronavirus pandemic has been the need for adaptability. Change is not an uncommon characteristic in business or life. But when situations change quickly – affecting our operating environment, daily lives, and more – leaders must be ready to adapt.
We can't stick to the status quo if we want to grow our business. So how can we work on developing our adaptability? Leadership mentor Gordon Tredgold in a recent blog outlines some key areas to focus on:
- Agile strategic thinking: We operate in environments constantly flooded with information, from news, emails, social media, and our conversations. As you sort through all this information to inform your next steps, it's important that you're starting with a solid foundation via business continuity plans. These plans should take into account crises that could arise and how your organization would respond to them. That way, when you're faced with one of the scenarios in real life, you've already done the groundwork and can adjust as needed.
- Critical mental scripting: We strive to have efficient decision-making processes. One of the downsides in efficiency, though, can be retreating to a solution that has worked in the past. Leaders must keep an open mind while making decisions. While situations may seem similar, there are still differences to consider. Tredgold advises leaders to gut check yourself and question whether your initial response is the most appropriate.
- Desire to learn: Reaching your career goal – that might be the president or CEO title – doesn't mean you should stop striving to be better. This post is all about adapting to change, and you can't do that if you don't continue to learn. As Warren Buffett said, "go to bed a little smarter each day." We don't know everything, so take time to listen to others' opinions, read, attend training opportunities, and other things that will strengthen your leadership and help you grow.
Adaptability is also a trait that we should encourage others on our team to develop. We thrive when all employees have a strategic mindset and are ready to find innovative solutions to evolving problems.
Change can be uncomfortable, but don't view it as a negative. Be ready to react when you need to, and take time to strategize for what may be on the horizon. An important component through all of this is remaining confident in your ability to lead your team and decisive in your decision making.
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About the Author
B. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry. Since becoming president and CEO in 2013, Berger, who is also an author, economist, and one of Washington's top lobbyists, is credited with bringing national attention to key policy issues, while ensuring NAFCU's members meet policymakers at the highest levels of government.