Adaptive Leadership Style

Adaptive leadership is a style of leadership that emphasizes the importance of each person and each role within the company. Adaptive leadership sees the organization as a living, constantly changing organization where employees can learn, adapt and grow. Adaptive leaders mobilize people toward a common goal and also have the courage to experiment with new ideas and approaches. Adaptive leadership is the practice of mobilizing groups of people to meet difficult challenges and thrive. Learn to adopt this style and become an adaptive leader!

What is adaptive leadership?

The term is derived from evolutionary biology and means “to adapt to changes in order to survive”. All types of organizations are faced with the need to survive in increasingly complex environments. Adaptive leadership from the context of an organization refers to shaping and changing the organization into a meaningful and relevant shape in a changing environment. An adaptive leader must be able to eliminate unnecessary elements, retain essential elements, and create a new set of discarded organizational elements that can enable the organization to cope with change.

What is the adaptive leadership style?

The main purpose of the adaptive leadership style is to enable organizations to adapt to external and internal pressures for change. It is the style with which this is done that makes the evolution of this approach relevant. Modern organizations are very complex and have their own leadership challenges. The competitive world in which they must exist, survive and thrive is rapidly changing due to globalization and rapid technological advancements triggered by rapid development all over the world. To solve modern leadership problems, we need an adaptive leadership style that draws on the experience and expertise of everyone in an organization to contribute to the survival of the organization. In a nutshell, it is the ability to undertake the gradual but significant process of adaptation, and the leadership style to achieve this is known as the adaptive leadership style.

Principles of adaptive leadership:

The principles of adaptive leadership encourage the engagement of followers to help the organization adapt to its environment. Below are the principles of adaptive management:

1. Vision and purpose of the organization: The first principle is a clear understanding of the underlying purpose of the organization. An adaptive leader must articulate a clear vision of the organization to employees by aligning the values ​​of the organization with the personal values ​​of your employees. This helps create a shared sense of purpose that motivates employees by giving them an ideal mission to achieve.

2. Using people’s skills/mix/experience to help fit based on commitment and trust between leader and followers. Adaptive leaders must involve employees in the decision-making process and offer them flexibility in how they do their jobs.

3. Adaptive leaders must be able to tolerate ambiguity and provide direction, support, opportunity, coaching, mentorship training, and feedback to their followers. This allows your employees to grow professionally and gain a sense of mastery over their work. It can also boost their self-esteem and give them a new sense of purpose.

4. The adaptive leader gives team members the freedom to act. Such a leader rewards employees for their successes and accomplishments. Rewarding employees gives them a sense of accomplishment and makes them feel part of an organization that cares about them.

“The Practice of Adaptive Leadership” by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow and Marty Linsky (2009) is an excellent book for learners who wish to explore this approach further.

Adaptive leadership has a profound impact on workforce well-being and performance. It is a style that helps to embed a positive work culture in organizations.