Each Sunday, as I sit down to set myself for the upcoming week, I choose one leadership quality that I want to focus on that week; one quality that I believe makes a great leader and one that I can practice as the week goes on.
Most times, the quality that I choose has a lot to do with what I have going on that week. If I’m training, facilitating, or speaking, I might choose Communication. If I’m having a difficult time with a relationship in my life, I might choose acceptance or empathy.
This past week I choose Adaptability.
I choose adaptability as the leadership quality that I wanted to focus on for a number of reasons.
First, it had a lot to do with having just had my first son, Hunter. Hunter is now four weeks old and, in that short period of time, he’s taught me much about what it means to be both a father and a leader. You see, I’ve learned in the past few weeks that there will be times in my life where I will have absolutely no control over what is going on. I can’t control when Hunter sleeps, when he cries, or when he wants to be held. All I can do in this situation is keep in mind that the only control I have is how I choose to approach the situation itself. For example, I can focus on the things that I’m not able to do now (like read every day or workout 4-5 times a week) or I can embrace this new time in my life and adapt to the situation that I’m so very fortunate to be in.
So this week I choose to focus on the later. I choose to be adaptable as I believe that that is what makes a great leader.
As I went through the week, I had to ask myself “What does being adaptable look like?”
To me, being adaptable means going with the flow. It means embracing your situation, regardless of how it looks to others, and choosing to make the best of the circumstances. This requires a lot of self-knowledge and self-control.
I’ll admit, I had a few moments of weakness this week. When you combine little sleep with stressful situations, I tend to not have the same restraint I would if I was well rested. Things were said to people I cared about (and a few strangers) that wouldn’t have normally been said or that I knew I should be saying. So, to those people, I’m sorry.
Adaptability really means being able to change as circumstances require it to. It means that we have to be flexible in our daily lives. It teaches us that being rigid in our ways not only harms ourselves but also harms people around us.
Abraham Maslow said it well when he said:
“To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.”
Live the Questions,
Matt Tod is an international speaker, leadership facilitator, writer and lover of all things Zombie-related.