Become a More Versatile Leader

Versatility—the ability to use a wide variety of skills to adapt to changing circumstances—is a core leadership competency, especially in volatile times like these. The world isn’t likely to become less volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, so how can you become a more versatile leader? First, versatility requires understanding your tendencies—that is, which behaviors come naturally to you and which ones don’t. You can develop this understanding by completing personality tests and soliciting feedback from colleagues and your manager regarding your behavior and its impact. Then, seek out new work experiences, stretch assignments, and challenges aimed at developing the skills you don’t yet consider to be strengths. Lean into your weaknesses; you’re more likely to learn and grow outside of your comfort zone. Finally, push your self-perception to new places. Break out of binary thinking like “I am a hard charger, not a soft pushover” or “I believe in power through people, not power over people.” Instead, embrace a more flexible, nuanced identity that adapts to whatever the situation requires of you. With a broader and more elastic sense of self, you’ll be able to solve a broader set of problems that might be around the corner.


This tip is adapted from “It Takes Versatility to Lead in a Volatile World,” by Robert B. (Rob) Kaiser et al.


Source:  Harvard Business Review  |  The Management Tip of the Day






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