Future Fit # 21: On becoming an adaptive leader: Best ask.

TomorrowToday has promised to help you start the journey towards being future fit – to becoming an adaptive leader. Being merely a ‘good leader’ will not suffice when it comes to meeting the challenge of the future. You will need to be a great leader and a ‘great leader’ is someone who understanding and practices adaptive leadership. This is part of a ‘boot camp’ through which we help you begin the journey of becoming future fit; we help you in the process of becoming an adaptive leader. Each ‘session’ is designed around a thought-bullet (Head) and an action point (Hand) – something to think about and something to try out. We have promised to keep the ‘head’ part to under a minute and the practical part (hand)…well, that is up to you.

ladders into the skyFuture Fit # 21: Best ask.

Rahul Dravid is one of the best cricketers ever to have played for India. Dravid played in 164 test matches, scoring 13288 runs at an average of 52.3. His ODI (One Day International) record is equally impressive in that he scored 10788 runs at an average of 39 over 341 matches. His career spanned from 1996 – 2012 and he was part of a golden era in the great nation’s cricket history. The story about Dravid is that even when at the peak of his career he would always seek advice from legends of the game as to how he could improve on his own game. Whenever India toured he would contact former players who themselves had made a mark in the game and look to spend time with them learning from them and having deep conversations about the game he loved and was so talented at playing. He never stopped learning; he never thought he was above learning something new – something that would make him better. Senior leaders could learn from Dravid’s attitude and adaptive leaders know that on-going learning is the lifeblood of their leadership practice.

Think of two people who have been in similar positions to that in which you currently find yourself. Two people you admire because their own leadership style and influence. Think of what it is specifically that you admire about them as this will serve to direct your conversation. Contact them and ask if you could meet them for lunch or simply have a conversation with them about their perspective on leadership. – and in particular, about the quality or characteristic that you have identified in them. This might be hard to do but seldom will someone refuse such a request. It will time well invested and will perhaps start something that you will find gets easier and more natural, and will become a leadership habit in much the same way it was for Dravid. Just a tip: keep a small journal of such meetings and the advice you receive. I don’t think you’ll ever regret the effort this takes and the time invested. You are never too good a leader that can’t learn from others. Adaptive leaders intentionally incorporate such habits into their leadership practice and routine.

Index of Adaptive Leader series
Click here to see the full list of the Future Fit ‘sessions’

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