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                Adaptive leaders are accepting

                Michelle Sales/12 January 2017
                1 minute read time

                The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. 

                Nathaniel Branden (American Psychologist)

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                Think about a challenge you’ve been through in your life. One that you did well. Now think about one you did poorly. What was the difference in your approach? I bet the faster you moved to acceptance of the situation before taking action, the quicker you were able to conquer the challenge. This is where adaptive leaders have an edge on everyone else.

                Adaptive leaders know where their power is and where it isn’t. Resolving complex issues that are ever changing requires strength and endurance; qualities that cannot be built if the individual focuses on the barriers, being resistance.

                Recognising Internal dialogue

                Overcoming any change requires awareness of what is really going on and then acceptance of this. If we waste time resisting what is, we’ve just given away our power to do anything about it. We become anxious as we seek to control that which is outside of our control. Internal dialogue becomes something like: “Its so wrong.” “It shouldn’t be like that.” “There’s no hope for it / for me.” Adaptive leaders recognize this straight away and move toward acceptance instead. They adopt an attitude of curiosity. Their internal dialogue is more like: “It is what it is.” “Lets explore it” “Where are the opportunities?”

                Recognise the momentum of resistance

                Recognising evidence of resistance early is key to catching it and changing course before it gains momentum in you and in your teams. Adaptive leaders recognize resistance early and change course to acceptance because that’s where the power is. An adaptive leader recognizes and harnesses the energy of acceptance in a team to move to solutions. An Adaptive leader even takes thrill in this ride. While many of us experience anxiety and wait for the problems to be fixed before feeling relief, the adaptive leader thrives on the ride of the challenge along the way.

                Adopt Acceptance and enjoy the ride

                The great thing about acceptance is that it is something we have total control over. And it’s not until we as leaders start with acceptance that our teams can be accepting too. It’s the ultimate in ‘leading by example’.

                Adaptive leaders enjoy the ride because they know where their true power is and they have practiced the habit of moving to acceptance from anything. They know it works. Its confidence. Its resilience. Its power. Its being Adaptive.

                Over the next week as you go about your work, ask yourself: “Am I practicing resistance or acceptance right now?” “Am I being Adaptive?” Also take note of your corresponding energy levels in these moments.

                Learn how to embrace and enjoy the ride that is Adaptive Leadership.

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                Michelle Sales/12 January 2017