Embracing the Concept of Agility as a Leader

I’m sure you’ve aware that the world is changing fast. But what does this really mean? With so much change happening, we need to be able to adapt quickly—and accurately—to our constantly shifting environment. The ability to do this is called an “adaptability quotient” (AQ), and it’s a crucial skill for today’s leaders.

The concept of an adaptability quotient (AQ), was first proposed by Robert Sternberg in 1983 and later expanded upon by his colleague Todd Lubart. AQ is defined as the extent to which an individual has the capacity to adjust their thinking, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors based on their surroundings. It’s also known as “flexibility” or “resilience,” depending on who you ask. The authors propose that people with high AQs are better able to deal with sudden changes than those with low ones—and thus have greater success at work and in life overall.

Be a lifelong learner

Lifelong learning is a must for anyone who wants to be a successful leader. It’s not just about keeping up with the latest trends and tools, either: it’s about staying open-minded and finding new ways of thinking about problems.

The easiest way to achieve that goal is by learning from others—but those people don’t have to be experts! You can also learn from your own experiences, or even from mistakes you’ve made in the past (which may seem counterintuitive). But whatever you do, make sure you always use your knowledge as a springboard for growth—and try not to repeat any mistakes more than once!

Constantly challenge the status quo

A good way to get into the habit of questioning the status quo is to build it in as a part of your daily routine. When you wake up, give yourself a minute or two to reflect on how your life is different than yesterday. What are you doing differently? How have things changed? What has stayed the same?

With this practice in place, when someone comes along and tries to explain why something should be done “the old way”—that is, according to their personal experience—you’ll already have formed an opinion about whether that’s actually true or not. It’s not so much about being right but more about being open-minded enough to consider new ideas and ways of thinking about things.

Link challenges to your values

  • Link challenges to your values.
  • Understand your values.
  • Live by your values.
  • Explain your values to others (and be able to explain them).

See change as an opportunity, not a threat

The next time you’re faced with change, see it as an opportunity instead of a threat. Chances are, the changes that seem to be bad for you and your organization will actually lead to something better.

Change is inevitable—and not just in business. Even if you have no interest in entrepreneurship or starting your own company, there are still times when things need to change at work.

Look for challenges in your comfort zone

  • Challenge yourself. Try new things and take on new responsibilities. If you’re not doing anything challenging, you’ll get comfortable and complacent, which is when you stop improving. Take a class in a field that interests you but isn’t your core expertise—and then try to learn more about it on your own time if possible.
  • Get out of your comfort zone. Some people like challenges because they can show off their skills or knowledge, but there’s also an element of fear involved in being tested with something new: What if I don’t do well? What if I make a fool out of myself? The key here is learning how to manage those fears so that they don’t hold us back from taking risks at work or elsewhere in life

Learn from mistakes, but do not dwell on them

Have you ever made a mistake? We all have. Making mistakes is part of life. It’s important to learn from our mistakes and move on, but it’s also important not to dwell on them.

When you make a mistake, take time to evaluate the situation and figure out what went wrong. Learn from your mistakes so that they won’t happen again! Don’t make the same mistake twice—you wouldn’t want anyone else making them either!

Help others recognize their own adaptability quotient

To help others recognize their own adaptability quotient, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Share your experiences and stories. You can share your own stories, but also those of others. For example, if you find something on twitter that is relevant to this topic, retweet it!
  • Share books and articles. If there are books written on this topic that you think would be useful for people to read, post links to them in conversations on social media or send emails with links attached to friends who might find them helpful.
  • Also include recommendations for good articles in blog posts and newsletters that explain how being adaptable has helped people become successful at work and in life. The more we all know about what it means for ourselves as individuals (and organizations) to be adaptive over time then the easier it will be for us all collectively create a better future together than otherwise possible without such knowledge shared widely among us all.”

The ability to discard old ideas, embrace new ones, adjust your frame of reference, and be agile in dealing with constant change is imperative not only for leaders but for the entire organization.

John Spence

If you want to be an adaptable thinker and leader, then you must cultivate your ability to embrace change and deal with constant disruption. You can only do this if you have a deep understanding of your own values and motivations so that they stay in sync with what’s happening around you. Again, it all comes back to being open-minded about new ideas and experiences—which isn’t easy for most people! But if we can learn these skills now, then when things do change, we will be prepared for whatever might come next.

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