“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” — Stephen Hawking
Ahh, yes. One of the hardest things for a leader to do. Adapt.
Companies are full of people who jokingly say, “We have always done it this way.”
Sometimes, entire companies are built around a culture steeped in tradition. It is almost as if it is worn as a badge of honor to be inflexible. We see prideful sayings such as “the ‘Company X’ way.” We think that the formula for success and profitability in business is stable.
This. Just. In.
What made you successful in one era will not always apply to the future.
Markets, technology, societal values, and consumer behaviors are constantly in flux. Holding on to a rigid “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality can lead to a company’s downfall in the face of these changing dynamics. Successful companies can forecast changes, adapt strategies, and pivot their operations accordingly. These organizations are not just reacting to change; they anticipate it, stay ahead of the curve, and leverage it as an opportunity for growth and innovation.
Intelligence is knowing that without adaptability, organizations fail.
Flexibility should be a part of your leadership core values.
Let’s answer the question with a question. How can you be expected to successfully lead a team in a new generation if you are unwilling to adapt to their leadership style?
Too often, I have witnessed once great leaders boldly proclaim that those in your chain of command are responsible for adapting to you. Let me be perfectly clear. It is always the leader’s responsibility to find ways to connect, build a relationship, motivate, and inspire ALL team members to be successful. Therefore, a leader must be adaptable, flexible, and open.
Don’t overthink it. Adapt to change.