Leadership Requires Flexibility

Recently, I was having lunch with a friend and we began talking about one of Aesop’s Fables, The Oak and the Reed. In the story, the oak tree stood tall and strong, while the reeds bowed and bent to the wind.

Then one day the sky grew dark with thunderclouds. Rian began to pour down from the sky and mighty winds began to blow. The reed was able to bend and sway in the wind but the oak tree was torn up by the roots and fell to the ground. In the end, it was the reed, not the oak, who survived.

The moral of the story? It is better to be flexible like the reed instead of rigid like the oak tree. And when it comes to leadership, this same concept applies.

When it comes to the qualities of a leader, we often think of the strength and solidness of an oak tree.  Someone who stands tall, is confident in their abilities and is unwilling to bend, when challenges arise.  In comparison, people who bend like the reed, may be perceived as weak or being a pushover.  This is, actually, a huge misconception.  In fact, leadership requires flexibility and is an essential quality to have, for leaders who want to be successful.  But, why would leadership flexibility be an essential quality to have, in order for someone to, truly, be a successful leader?

What is a Flexible Leader?

Being a flexible leader means that you can adapt to your environment.  As situations change, flexible leaders can eb, flow and pivot.  For example, back in late 2020, we had just launched our Dig-In series, a collection of topic-based trainings, meant to help participants better understand critical and timely team topics and trends.  However, due to the pandemic, we had to pivot and re-market Dig-In as a virtual training experience.  Instead of resisting the challenges of the pandemic, we worked with it.  We adapted our process, to meet the current-state of business and what our clients needed most.  As a result, we were able to, successfully, meet the needs of our clients and continue to offer the workshop series, throughout the Safer-At-Home order.  Other examples of flexible leadership, include adapting your speaking, listening or presentation style, to match your audience.

How to be a More Flexible Leader

  • Becoming a more flexible leader isn’t difficult but it does take time and practice.  Here are some things that will help you get started on that, today.
  • Get feedback on your communication style
  • Learn what communication style works best for the different people you work with
  • Learn to deliver your message in such a way, where others can hear and relate to it
  • Listen to understand where people are coming from
  • Get aligned on goals – this will help guide you, as obstacles arise

Flexible leaders have the ability to meet people where they are at.  When you can change and adapt your style, to connect better with those you work with, you can grow your influence and have greater results.

With 30+ years of experience, our team of experts is here to help you grow and develop as a leader.  If you’re interested in learning more about what we offer, CONNECT WITH THE UTECH TEAM TODAY!