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Adaptability: Learning, growing and changing keeps everyone poised for the future.

Last week I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Insight, a Capital Public Radio show. The interview focused on my new book Woven Leadership.  What was interesting was the first question.  The host of the show, Jeffrey Callison, started out with a question about a local issue related to the Sacramento Kings basketball team.  He asked how I would advise the mayor of the city on the issue if I had an opportunity to meet with him.     I can candidly say, ‘I did not see that one coming!’  I gave it a few seconds thought and then replied that I would advise him to look at the business imperative and cultural aspects of what the community needs and look for a common goal that could bring the two divergent views together.

It was an interesting start to the interview and it reminded me that it is important to be adaptable at all times.  There have been many times in my career that I needed to switch directions, sometimes even changing jobs, due to a business imperative.  I was constantly looking for ways to grow my skills to make sure I could be versatile and ready for different opportunities. It always feels more comfortable to choose the changes that occur in your life, but that isn’t always how it happens.  Often there are situations that create downstream changes in our lives both at work and outside of work.

I have a friend who became wheel chair bound due to a car accident 15 years ago.  I am inspired by this amazing man.  He often tells me, ‘Do you want to know how lucky I am?’  He can list off so many things about how lucky he is; how at the time of the accident someone drove by with a satellite phone and they were able to call for help, how his wife and son were not hurt, and the list goes on.  Whenever I think of adaptability I think of this friend.  He did not sit and resist the changes, but adapted and kept moving forward with his life.

As leaders we need to help our team to be ready to adapt to changes that come our way.  And changes always come; sometimes planned and other times without warning.  Learning, growing and changing keeps everyone poised for the future.

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