Being an effective leader takes tact and initiative. You need to see the vision of your company and lead your entire team to the finish line with ease. No matter the obstacles that come your way, you need to find a way to overcome them without fear. You must be agile in your attempts and succeed at every turn.
It is this agility that can promise success as you are able to move seamlessly through your days, finding ways to adapt to the issues at hand. You can predict the next move and pivot when necessary to avoid conflict and problems. It is this agility that is the true mark of a leader.
Below, 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council share they key to remaining agile as a leader, from learning how to pivot to remaining calm under pressure or mastering your decision-making skills.
1. Learn How To Remain Calm Under Pressure
In today’s business environment of unrelenting pressure, agile leaders must learn the ability to turn attention inward to confront heightened levels of urgency. Important ways to manage stress include staying in the moment, paying attention to the body’s response to stress, mastering the mind through breathing, meditation and labeling emotions to increase interoceptive awareness. – Maria Pastore, Maria Pastore Coaching
2. Develop A Strong Team Of Leaders Around You
To be an agile leader means that you are nimble and responsive to opportunities. As a leader, you cannot remain agile if you are mired in putting out constant fires that emerge in the daily operation of your organization. To solve this, build a strong team of leaders who can effectively manage the daily routine so that you are available to think and respond strategically when opportunities arise. –Julianne Cenac Ph.D., The Leader Channel
3. Adopt An Experimentation Mindset
To achieve agility, leaders need to adopt an experimentation mindset where the organization is experimenting and learning as they go, rather than an implementation mindset where they’re running detailed projects that are to be implemented “right” the first time. Make outcomes the measure of success rather than outputs. Build for resilience and change the norm so the company gets good at it. – Doc Norton, CTO2
4. Don’t Panic, Pivot
Having a strong infrastructure with sound business practices and solid processes frees the leader to focus on innovation, risk mitigation and agility. If the leader is bogged down with infrastructure issues, they panic instead of pivoting. The ability to think clearly and quickly and assimilate varying viewpoints and data is a key mindset of a good leader. –Cheryl Amyx, 4CEO, Inc.
5. Innovate And Don’t Fear Failure
Agile leadership simply means you value the ability to try new and different things in bite-size chunks, with an emphasis on speed to execution. Leaders must create an environment where innovation is recognized and your team has permission to fail in order to achieve breakthrough results. –Christie Lindor, The MECE Muse
6. Cultivate Your Emotional Intelligence
Connect, understand and collaborate with others. Put individuals and interactions above processes and tools, and customer collaboration above contract negotiation. Actively listen to feedback. Emotional intelligence enhances a leader’s agility by allowing them to form strong relationships that help push them through the twists and turns of leading a team, business or organization. – Claire Simier Karsevar,Simier Partners
7. Always Be Adapting
A good question to ask leaders is, “Can you tell me about a time when you changed your opinion on something that you believed in strongly years ago?” Adaptability, which is important in any environment, is essential among leaders. Becoming a student of leadership styles and techniques, whether through reading and observing or responding to honest feedback from those you lead, is key to success. – Rick Gibbs, Insperity
8. Be A Decision-Making Master
Great leaders make quick, important and great decisions all the time. Being agile in decision-making is what organizations expect from an awesome management team. Feed the analytical side of your brain, continuously gathering information that has a direct and indirect impact on your job. Support your emotional brain by managing your emotions, knowing they play a critical role in your decisions. – Mariana Lacombe, MarianaLacombe.com
9. Learn From Your Mistakes
We make about 35,000 decisions each day! So invariably, we’re going to make mistakes. The key to being an agile, nimble leader is to lean into the “why” of the mistakes, learn the lessons, and share with others. This way, you continue to evolve and pivot as a leader while empowering your people to stretch and grow. – Deborah Goldstein, DRIVEN Professionals
10. Never Stop Growing
It’s often said that you can’t be considered a leader if no one is willing to follow you. With this said, its important for leaders to continue to adopt a growth mindset so that they can perfect their craft and grow forward. – Nicole K. Webb,NK WEBB GROUP LLC
11. Plan For Agility
Agility is not just an attitude. It can be facilitated with processes. I learned this principle when our software department adopted the “agile development model.” The model allows you to overcome complexity by freezing one of the three variables all change initiatives must manage: scope, resource and schedule. This model changes the attitude of the whole team. Change is expected so as a leader, you know how plans can be adjusted in a non-chaotic way. – Gary Harpst,Six Disciplines
12. Keep Abreast Of Industry Trends And Disruptions
An essential practice of agile leaders is that they habitually go outside of their typical circle of experts or influencers to learn new skills and ideas. By purposefully seeking and using approaches from outside of your division, company, industry, even your network, you will gain incredibly useful ideas on how to creatively forge new strategies and solve business problems. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC
13. Get Exposed To New Thinking
Agile leaders ensure they are regularly exposed to new thinking. They engage in industry groups, have coffees with leaders and team members in diverse areas of the organization, and regularly connect with peers and mentors external to their organization. They also engage in reading diverse viewpoints to challenge their thinking. Think exposure, exposure, exposure! – Jenn Lofgren, Incito Executive & Leadership Development
14. Be Courageous
Courage is essential. It is fearful to pivot at times. It’s daunting to start over. It feels weak to let go of ego. It takes courage to carry out all of the above. Remember that courage breeds agility. – Indira Jerez, Indira Jerez
15. Learn Faster, Lead Further
Leaders who learn faster have the ability to lead further. Leaders must move with speed and agility. Leaders who learn faster are able to move faster and make decisions quicker. One way to learn faster is to learn from a group of mentors who have been where you want to go before you. Listening to the wisdom of others makes us wise and ready to seize opportunities when they surface. – Ken Gosnell, CEO Experience