Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive Leadership

of the things that I have been thinking about since mid-last year are
the different styles of leadership that people bring to the table and
work with others through. This is in the context of how I could better
improve my style of leadership to the benefit of those that I am working
with. As a leader, as much as it might be on me to complete the
objective, it’s also on me to ensure that I am helping my colleagues
accomplish their own goals and find ways that they can better work with
others in the organization in the future.

I had previously heard
about examples of commanding leadership, transformational leadership,
and servant leadership. In Global Leadership, we talked about leaders
who have had a visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic,
pacesetting, or commanding attitude, as well as which styles worked
best. But one of the things that has drawn me towards thinking about
adaptive leadership is how this is used to look at old problems in a new
light. Things that seem intractable and set in stone aren’t always
that, and instead of playing by the old rules we sometimes need to
create new ones ourselves.

Another thing that drew me towards this
style of leadership is one that I can now relate to more in hindsight.
Currently, I am reading a book titled “Getting to Yes: Negotiating
Agreement Without Giving In”, by Roger Fisher and William Ury. In it the
authors discuss ways at reaching a consensus in a mutually beneficial
manner, not one that favors one side or another. To this effect, Fisher
and Ury talk a lot about not only identifying the shared interests that a
party might have with another, but also about “looking for
opportunities to act inconsistently with their perceptions.”

one thinks about adaptive leadership and what that entails,
communication and negotiation seem to fit right in, as this NPR segment
on the Turkey Greek relationship and George Papandreou would suggest.
(To listen to the segment, click the title at the top of this post.)

Originally published on


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