Effective leadership requires being flexible. It involves adapting. Changing. Shifting.
Any baseball player can tell you that today’s homerun has no bearing on tomorrow’s game. Every author will tell you that their best book ever must be the next one they write. But winning tomorrow’s game or writing your best book ever requires learning, adapting, and shifting one’s focus today.
Just because something worked well yesterday, that doesn’t mean it will remain effective today; and what works today might not be the right tool for tomorrow.
In the Old Testament, Nehemiah was charged by God to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile of the nation of Israel. But rebuilding that wall would be a monumental task—one that would require all-hands-on-deck in order to pull it off.
In chapter 3 of Nehemiah, there’s a list of everyone Nehemiah employed and managed during the project—everyone from priests, to temple servants, to goldsmiths, to perfumers. No one, male or female, was exempt from the command to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall.
When opposition to rebuild came from the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites, Nehemiah was forced to adapt. While Israel’s enemies plotted to fight Jerusalem and foil their plans to rebuild the wall, he shifted his plan and turned his people from builders into builders and warriors! With a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other, his workers kept building the wall.
Leadershifting is not about abandoning the values, principles, strategies, and training that got you where you are; it’s about adapting those core parts of you through intuition and creativity—just as Nehemiah did by putting a sword in the perfumer’s hand and saying, “Keep building!”
To be an effective leader, you must learn to leadershift. Today’s best will not be enough for tomorrow’s challenges. Are you willing to adapt?
Questions to ask yourself:
How adaptable to change do you think you are? Can you recall an example that illustrates that adaptability?
In times of conflict, do you tend to rely more on what got you there in the first place—your training, values, strategies, etc.—or your intuition and creativity? Has doing so been successful?
To read more concerning the vital skill of leadershifting, read John C. Maxwell’s new book Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace, available now at www.leadershiftbook.com .