5 things that are stopping you from being a more adaptive leader
Being an adaptive leader means being able to respond rapidly and effectively to change — put simply, it means having the skills you need to think quickly and creatively. Right now, as we face numerous changes in our work and personal lives, we need to be adaptive thinkers more than ever. Adaptive thinkers are the ones who were able to thrive during the shifting landscape of the pandemic.
But what makes an adaptive leader? And how can we start our journey towards becoming more adaptive now and in the future? The good news is that adaptive thinking is a skill you can learn. Here are some of the obstacles that might be getting in your way. Our Adaptive Global Leaders & Super Teams program helps teach you all the skills you need to be ????adaptive.

We want to share with you some of the top barriers we see people facing on their journey towards becoming more adaptive leaders.
1. You're limited by your subconscious brain
One of the biggest barriers to adaptive thinking is unconscious and implicit bias.

We know that implicit bias has a strong impact on the split-second decisions we make. Too often, we think of unconscious bias as something we do. In reality, it is the way our brains are wired.

Undoing unconscious bias takes years and lots of effort — and even then we can't eliminate it completely. Instead, we find that people have more success when they recognise their unconscious bias and work around it.

In our Adaptive Global Leaders & Super Teams program, our coaches address bias by:

  • Helping you understand your brain and what it does
  • Identify how unconscious and implicit bias controls your brain specifically
  • Identify the ways that these behaviours can manifest into behaviours or decisions
  • Provide strategies to overcome these biases and prevent letting your behaviour and decisions from being driven by them.

This is not a process that can be mastered overnight. But by beginning to work out our unconscious biases and how they limit us, we can begin to work to overcome them.
2. You're getting things done — but not getting the right thing done
We tend to look at work through two modes of thinking: convergent and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking is about getting the job done — what are the tangible actions we need to take to get to where we want to be? Many of us are used to this (and very good at it.)

Divergent thinking, on the other hand, is exploratory. It's about challenging our goals, asking questions and opening ourselves up to possibility. The creator of our Adaptive Global Leaders & Super Teams program, Donna Eiby, asked one of her clients how much time they spent on divergent thinking.

"We're great at it," said the client. "We have one day a year where we workshop our strategy and encourage all kinds of questions."

The reality that one day out of 365 is nowhere near enough. We need to be able to align our divergent thinking alongside our convergent thinking, so we can ask questions, come together and outline goals, and then explore tangents looking for possibility.

When we spend too much time on convergent thinking and not divergent thinking, we can get a lot done. But we run the risk of never getting the right things done.
3. You don't view yourself as a work-in-progress
When we view ourselves as a work-in-progress, we give ourselves room to grow — which is an inherently adaptive quality. In our Adaptive Global Leaders & Super Teams program, we talk about this through the lens of growth and benefit mindsets.

Some people view themselves and their skills as predetermined. If they're not funny, then they'll never be funny. Having a growth mindset means the opposite. It appreciates that errors are a part of life and opens us up to change. As our coach CJ says, "Shake off self-doubt, fear of failure and leave your ego at the door. If you're worried about being perfect — if you doubt your abilities to achieve the results regardless of the number of attempts — then you're already climbing an uphill battle. Instead, don't be afraid to fail your way to success."

Our evidence shows that when we learn to view ourselves as adaptable, we become more adaptable.
4. You don't have time to be curious
We know that curious people are more adaptable. But more importantly, curiosity is a skill. In our day-to-day work, many of us are complacent with getting what we need to get done that we don't stop to ask questions about what else we could be doing, or how else we could get to where we need to go.

Many of the world's greatest scientific discoveries have come from pure curiosity. If scientists hadn't been curious about the incredible strength of the Mantis Shrimp, we never would have discovered some of the feats of engineering that we have today. But to get to those discoveries, we have to invest in curiosity. We have to allow ourselves to go down rabbit holes (or in this case, shrimp burrows), that might not lead anywhere.

We need to trust that the pay-off of our curiosity will open new doors — perhaps not right away, but certainly in the long run.
5. You're not actively building your resilience
The correlation between adaptive leaders and resilience is huge. When we're not resilient, we quickly reach our mental limits and are unable to be adaptive. Being resilient often comes down to a combination of building resilient skills and planning ahead.

There's a lot of research that goes into the science of resilience, but the good news is that you can build it over time. When you actively practice resilience, you'll find your ability to adapt and thrive improves over time as well.

Now that you know the obstacles preventing you from becoming a more adaptive thinker and leader, why not start taking the steps to overcome them? Sign up for our Adaptive Global Leaders & Super Teams program today and start building the human skills you need to thrive.
If you want to overcome the obstacles towards becoming a more adaptive leader, our new Adaptive Global Leaders & Super Teams program can help. We provide tangible exercises to help build your resilience and curiosity, and help you work with your unconscious bias. We even provide you with an adaptive-thinking workout plan that you can use to foster adaptive leadership for years to come.