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What Makes a Learning Agile Leader?

What do good leaders do when they don’t know what to do?

I read a great Korn/Ferry briefing recently that looked at the importance of learning agile leaders. They are the ones who know what to do when they don’t know what to do!

At Mantle, we are often asked to help our clients determine the key skills that are critical for leaders in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world. Constant change, ambiguity and external forces demand that leaders demonstrate the ability to step confidently into unexpected situations. We know that during these times, people are looking to their leaders for a sense of direction, clarity and purpose. They do not desire leaders who get caught up in the details, problems and drama of the situation. These leaders become reactive, rather than stepping back and looking for a way forward. After all, if you are down into the detail and drama – who is doing the leading?

What makes a learning agile leader?

According to Korn/Ferry, it is associated with five key aspects:

  • Mental agility – to be able to come at problems from different and unique perspectives
  • People agility – skilled communicators who can work with diverse groups of people
  • Change agility – likes to experiment and is comfortable with change
  • Results agility – delivers results in challenging first-time situations
  • Self-awareness –they know their own strengths and weaknesses

I guess nothing new in there, but perhaps a different context based on how the world is evolving. Of course, experience plays a part in dealing with uncertain situations, but the learning agile leader becomes seasoned fast. That’s the point! Agility in our leaders can’t be taken for granted. We just have to look at iconic companies such as Kodak, Panasonic and Blackberry to know that.

Where do you start?

Like all things it has to start with knowing where you are bow – self-awareness. Then it’s about harnessing your experience, self-awareness insights and energy. This helps you develop your ability to successfully navigate yourself and others through challenging situations and times. If you would like any help in figuring out what you or your leaders might need to become more learning agile. Please call one of the Mantle team today for a free consultation over coffee.W