Adaptable Leadership | Women's Biz Magazine


What is adaptable leadership & how do you incorporate it in your business?

I have a wholistic approach to leadership that includes consideration of my leadership style, particularly when it comes to both my team and our customers.

Essentially, being an adaptable leader is being flexible, resilient and versatile. As your business evolves, it is important to be able to create new strategies, embrace change and cultivate innovation within your team. I do this with my employees by encouraging continuous learning, being vulnerable and open with my communication, as well as empowering my team to take calculated risks. However, the focus on adaptable leadership also comprises awareness of your customers and their needs, staying abreast of market trends and not shying away from technological advancements that your customers resonate with, this is imperative.

Why do you believe adaptable leadership is important in business?

Adaptable leadership is crucial in today's world. The global market is changing so quickly and there are many uncertainties, particularly with emerging technologies. As leaders, we need to ensure we can deal with these, and also teach our employees to be resilient. By encouraging elasticity in your team, you can teach them to have the ability to swiftly adjust strategies, be innovative and possess high problem-solving capabilities. Nurturing relationships, both internally and externally is just one of the ways I ensure team and customer morale is high. For example, by remaining open to suggestions and acting on customer feedback, we continue to be at the top of the market, as opposed to leadership, where the mindset is exactly that - a set mind.

Who is adaptable leadership most suited to?

This may be controversial, but I believe that women or men who have been at home with a dependent (whether that is children or another) are best at being adaptable leaders, because they have had to live in an unpredictable environment.

Also, industries and situations where capriciousness, technological advancements, creativity and evolving market conditions are the norm, would benefit from leaders who are adaptable.

In essence, adaptable leadership is most suited for those leading in contexts that demand flexibility, creativity, resilience, and a proactive response to change.

What are the top qualities of being an adaptive leader?

These are the main merits I look for if I'm employing someone for a leadership role:

1. Flexibility: It is imperative in our business that our team are open to (and they embrace) change, so they can adjust strategies when needed. Foil Me is a creative business where we don't do 'the norm' in our marketing and branding, so they need to be flexible in their thinking and embrace new ideas and approaches.

2. Resilience: I need someone who can handle uncertainty and challenges, who can bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures, and have an optimistic outlook.

3. Collaboration and effective communication: At Foil Me, we have a VERY collaborative culture, where team members feel empowered to contribute ideas, so it is an important quality for leaders to value diverse perspectives, whilst navigating change or challenges. They need to be able to keep the team informed, provide reasons for change and explain why certain decisions are made. I also look for inspirational individuals and those who maintain a vision, embrace continuous learning, have strong EQ, especially when it comes to empathy and decisiveness, encourages innovation where new ideas are welcomed, and acts quickly and adjusts strategies, in response to challenge and change. These are imperative characteristics in order to be an adaptive leader.

Originally published in Women's Biz Magazine, Edition 8. 2024

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