The Secret to Navigating the Volatile Path to Success
The path to success is messy. You’ve seen straight-line growth arrows, as if success is neat, safe, predictable and always in the upward direction.
The path to success is a volatile ocean that takes you through uncharted waters. Sometimes you circle back on yourself, lost in the fog.
The call to adapt:
Tenacity doesn’t serve you well until you know how to adapt.
Every stormy sea is a call to adapt as you go.
The captain of a ship knows the ship drifts. Winds blow her off course. Invisible currents pull sideways.
You never arrive at the correct destination without adjusting course as you go.
#1. Adaptability is the ability to shift expectations. Failure to adapt means you either get what you expect, or you get nothing. But people fall short. Expectations are off target.
Hold to long-term goals. Adjust short-term objectives.
#2. Adaptability is the ability to navigate disappointing results while continuing to work for great results.
#3. Adaptability is the ability to take full advantage of the team you have, not the team you wish you had.
Successful team members use THEIR strengths everyday in service to organizational mission.
Expecting performance out of weakness is a fool’s errand.
#4. Adaptability is the ability to extend second chances. You never get where you want to go if you aren’t willing to start again after failure.
#5. Adaptability is the ability to reach high – fall short – and reach high again.
A leader who can’t adapt ends up giving up.
#6. Adaptability is the ability to find something good when things don’t go as expected. Performance seldom meets expectation when you reach high.
#7. Adaptability is the ability to learn.
Disappointment is a learning moment for adaptable leaders and teams.
Bonus: Adaptability is the ability to renew energy.
Fill in the blank: Adaptability is the ability to ….
Fill in the blank: Unhealthy adapting is ….
Adaptability is the capacity for finding opportunities where others see only problems.
That why strategy is so important, necessarily so malleable, and so hard to teach properly.
“Bring me not just our problem and your solution, but how it resolves the strategic imperative.”
Getting everyone to comprehend the strategy is tough, but when everyone sees it this way, good things happen.
Thanks Rurbane. Your adaptability definition speaks to me. So practical and challenging.
You bring out the point that a problem isn’t solved until you find a way to contribute to strategic imperative. 🙂
The best leaders don’t adapt … alone.
Excellent analogy Dan!
Adaptability is knowing the fog will clear.
The only thing constant, is change:
Change in course; change in Crew;
We cannot see, but feel the wind.
Evolve the strategy, and always wear our life vest!
Have a great 4th of July Dan
I like them all; Adaptability is the ability to renew energy. I am currently working on (as I’ve done all his life) teaching my son further how to adapt to family dynamics, college dynamics, relationship dynamics and the world ahead. I get joy in this effort just like I did for my daughter before him. I somewhat control the playing field with my son and before his sister so its more fulfilling and easier than when I those (at work for example) who just do not know how to adapt and more importantly do not want to adapt.
Very timely Dan, as usual. My daily reminder yesterday was the obstacle is the way. Simple statement, but requires (for me anyway) tremendous tenacity and commitment. It is natural to feel disappointment and perhaps even heartbreak when things don’t work as we planned. This drains our energy like a black hole. If we can pick ourselves back up just a little bit and look for another way to keep things moving in the right direction we can see progress and renewal. Of course its easier, as Rurbane wisely puts it, to have someone working beside us.
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
from a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Very well written Dan. I especially liked your comment, “Hold to long-term goals. Adjust short-term objectives.”
To me Adaptability is the ability to ask for help in achieving your goals. So often people are too stubborn to ask for help or admit they don’t have all the skills, YET, to reach their goal or be the best leader.
Great blog Dan, I liked what you said adaptability is the ability to shift expectations. I will add that adaptability is the wisdom to know when to when to give up and when to continue.
Adaptability and resilience seem to go hand in hand!