Adaptability as a Leader - What Makes a Successful COO in a Startup Company

Adaptability is something leaders are lacking these day. The world is moving so fast, and sometimes we are not adapting to the change accordingly.

This challenge time of Covid-19 definitely brings about attention to the word "adaptability" as one characteristic a leader should always possess, yet it is often left off the list.

What is adaptability?

Adaptability is to get yourself ready for changes, whatever it may be. It's the ability to respond to a different condition in case things do not go as planned, and to turn it into our favor, seeing it as an opportunity to learn.

Leaders that possess this characteristic are resilient, and flexible in using past experience to tackle a problem, all while acknowledging that some of their past-proven experiences may not work in the future.

Apply adaptability at work

1/ Have an adaptive mindset

As a leader, you have to constantly be an innovator. Having an adaptive mindset is the first thing to do. Being well aware of changes should be at the top of your mind. View difficulties as opportunities to challenge and thrive, and don't be afraid of letting go obsolete leadership practices.

2/ Invest in emotional intelligence

Building adaptability must go hand in hand with having a strong mentality. In situations when it requires leaders to be adaptive to sudden changes, there would involve a certain level of stress. Emotional intelligence here means to have control of one's own emotion, and to manage it accordingly. Remember, control but not suppress. There's nothing good if you avoid your feelings, and it does not contribute one cent to your progress of building adaptability. Once you have figured out how to manage your emotion wisely, you come back stronger with more diverse perspectives to tackle a problem, and that's when you are learning to be adaptive.

3/ Learn, learn, and learn

It's impossible to go far as a problem-solver if you refuse to learn. Take every opportunities as a chance to keep up with the latest change, only through this way can you have more knowledge to adapt to different conditions. Read a round-up report on your industry trend, follow up with your network, take a course about what you are not confident in. Embrace learning, people who stay updated tend to be adaptable.

"Changes are a part of our lives, and having a skill to navigate makes the handling of such issues so much easier." (Sonia McDonald). In this case, adaptability is "that" skill.

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