Leaders Practice Adaptation

Leaders and experts speak highly of the ability to adapt; people who can adapt to changing situations have a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset, and can stay nimble in volatile times of change or uncertainty.

Sometimes, though, the only time we can develop those skills are in actual crisis situations. Adversity helps us develop and grow, to be sure, but if we’re in a learning mode, we might not be at our most effective.

The solution?

Force ourselves into discomfort in good times.

  • Explore a strange part of town or an unfamiliar city; do it without research or GPS.
  • Use public transportation if you don’t normally.
  • Schedule coffee with a colleague you don’t get along with and ask questions about their outlook.
  • Take on a project that you usually delegate or avoid.

Unsure of what might make you uncomfortable? Ask a trusted friend, family member, or colleague these questions:

  • “What do you see me avoid doing in order to stay comfortable?”
  • “What’s something I should do or explore to push me out of my comfort zone?”

I’m willing to bet they’ll have some crazy answers that you can’t predict. Let them influence and push you out of your bubble of security.

By leaning into discomfort when times are good, you can be more effective when they’re not. Give it a shot.

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