First COVID 19 pandemic. And then a second pandemic erupted over race relations. Both are global convulsions creating pressurized conditions for leaders.
An organization’s ability to adapt and adjust to shifting demands is really a function of a leader’s ability to lead change. In today’s convulsing environment, this capacity has become more central and more embedded in the definition of leadership than ever before. It resides at the core because it encapsulates a leader’s essential stewardship of keeping an organization viable.
Regardless of what other competencies you as a leader may have or what other achievements you may attain, if you can’t lead organizational change in response to adaptive challenge, your chance of surviving in a leadership role is dramatically lower than it was just a few years ago. As leadership scholars Ronald Heifetz and Donald Laurie argue, ‘‘Getting people to do adaptive work is the mark of leadership in a competitive world.’’
Or, as Kim Clark, the former dean of the Harvard Business School, observes, ‘‘Leadership shows up powerfully and in its most relevant context when you’re talking about significant change—when you are looking at the way the organization moves through time and how it adapts, grows, reacts, and responds to the stresses and strains and turbulences of life.’”
Here’s a critical question to ask yourself: Has your development as a leader accelerated during the pandemic? Why or why not?