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Adaptability ….. The Non-Negotiable Competency

Change is a certainty especially in our volatile economic climate. Consequently, Adaptability is increasingly surfacing as a key leadership competency within organizations across all industries. Adaptability is a blend of flexibility and versatility.

Are you adaptable?

Flexibility is the ability to readily modify, respond to, and integrate change with minimal personal resistance. People who are flexible do more than just accept change. Rather, they seek new initiatives and look for ways to improve their roles and the quality of their organization. They manage their reaction to change and recognize reactions in others. Flexible leaders are advocates for change and recognize more than one right way to accomplish something.


Versatility is the ability to manage changing assignments, adapting quickly to changes in priority, focus or approach. People who are versatile embrace a variety of subjects, fields, or skills and turn with ease from one to another. They typically have strong organizational skills and excel at multi-tasking and juggling priorities. Versatile leaders embrace change and enjoy its challenges.

Leaders who are adaptable are in high demand. Flexibility and versatility are non-negotiables in today’s business environment. People who are adaptable have the strong capacity to “go with the flow” and experience minimal stress. They trust that change is necessary and they demonstrate flexibility and remain committed to their mission regardless of the new direction or mandate.

Today’s work environment requires a high level of optimism and a “can do” orientation. Possessing multiple talents and a willingness to adapt them to changing assignments as required is increasingly a defining characteristic of top performing leaders.

How to develop and demonstrate your adaptability?

• Be mentally flexible

• Respond promptly to shifts in direction, priorities and schedules

• Maintain your productivity during transitions...keep your emotions in check

• Plan carefully for any change you initiate

• Don’t just manage change…..embrace it

• Serve as a model for the attitudes and behaviours expected as

a result of a successful change

• Be open to new ideas….your own and others


• Pause and benchmark with others … especially outside of your

industry sector



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