For a long time I’ve believed that flexibility is a key to success and many years ago made it one of my core values.
Flexibility is also a key strategy in leadership as it gives a leader more options for dealing with issues. And, because of the “Law of Requisite Variety” the more options a leader has the more likely they are to be successful.
I was recently reminded about the power of flexibility when a colleague last week asked me if I could be flexible regarding the time for a phone conversation. I realized I had scheduled a relatively open afternoon to do my administrative work and could be flexible with our call.
As I responded in my e-mail regarding my capability of being flexible that afternoon, I also realized that in leadership, leaders need to be careful not to be too flexible and to pick their spots when flexiblity is appropriate.
To do this leaders need to be able to set clear boundaries and say “yes” to priorities and “no” to things that do not move the organization/team towards fulfilling its vision and purpose.
The better the leader is setting clear boundaries around priorities, the more they can be flexible in addressing issues challenges, questions and requests.
How would you grade your ability to balance flexibility with setting clear boundaries?