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Why is Leadership Agility Critical in a Volatile and Uncertain World?

COVID 19 has had an extraordinary effect in business sectors worldwide, forcing leaders to change their approach and rapidly adapt to new challenges with flexibility and leadership agility.

Leaders must thrive in what is now an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) landscape where traditional planning is no longer a reliable option. It’s crucial to look at different ways of working and understand how you can deal with new challenges head-on in uncertain situations, ensuring your business can react to complexity with clarity. To thrive in a VUCA world, it’s imperative leaders effectively assert a change, navigate complex challenges and build strong, compatible teams.

You must have a clear idea of your purpose

Knowing your approach, values and goals will help you create a clear sense of purpose to drive your business forward — even if this may not happen in the way you originally planned. As the world becomes more complex and chaotic, your values and determination will inspire action and help mobilise the creative potential within your team.

Being inflexible is no longer an option – listen, assess, take action

To be a successful leader, you have to ask questions and really listen to the answers. In a VUCA world, flexibility is imperative. To understand the needs of those whose roles you’re responsible for, you must ask others for their feedback and opinions. The more comfortable you are at asking for positive and negative feedback, the more you’ll grow individually and collectively, whilst empowering employees, building team rapport and helping your business grow.

The key is being compelling and influential

Not everyone will see things your way all the time, especially in a chaotic, turbulent and rapidly changing business environment. Leaders will need to engage and empathise with those around them and work on framing their agendas in compelling and influential ways.

VUCA leaders need to collect ideas and collaborate

It’s no longer viable for one person to hold all the answers when dealing with ambiguous and uncertain times. Leaders must build strong, motivated teams that understand the necessity to take risks and accept a constant barrage of new knowledge and insights. Sharing these experiences and views with a competent team is the key to leading effectively during the VUCA landscape.

Agile leaders embrace failure

To grow as a leader, you must learn to evaluate your failures and analyse the mistakes you’ve made. Risk-taking is something that all leaders have to do. Sometimes these risks will be related to situations with a high emotional impact. In this case, you must be allowed to learn from your errors and manage the outcomes. It has always been important for businesses to adapt and show strong leadership; however, it is now more critical than ever.

If you’re looking to succeed and thrive in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments, or want to know how you can spot signs of potential issues early, and create a trusting and collaborative environment, we can help. Our Leading in a VUCA World course is ideal for leaders and managers who strive to lead effectively through challenging situations. This course can be delivered either virtually, face to face, or it can be delivered with a blend of both formats, and you can learn more about it here.

To learn more about GBS Corporate Training or to speak with one of our training experts, please get in touch