How adaptive are you?

https://hbr.org/2020/09/5-principles-to-guide-adaptive-leadership

How do you respond to positive change?

I am excited about the opportunities there are to work more creatively, collaboratively and inclusively. I am energised by the positive change and see it as validating the work I and the team have done to get to this place and the platform it gives me and the team to take advantage of the opportunities. I reach out more to other people to collaborate on those opportunities.

How do you respond to negative change?

I get deflated that the energy and momentum that I had helped build with others could be lost and see myself limited by what I perceive as barriers. I also lose confidence in myself as not having been able to inspire positive change or my ideas not being taken forward.

How do you do at keeping your intention present during the change?

I try and remember to do a worry diary and reflect on what I can control and what I can’t control. I also use it as an opportunity to reflect on my long term goals and review with a coach or a friend what opportunities the change can create and what I need to create. I also look out and listen to what people are in my team are feeling about the change, to understand how best to help them navigate the change.

Who do you lean on?

I lean on my partner and family for love, my friends for having a good time, exploring new activities and sharing issues, my manager for clarifying priorities, getting feedback on my performance, sounding out on tackling complex issues and helping me with my personal development, my team with using their skills to improve our support to the organisation, their creativity in thinking and working differently to tackle issues, getting feedback on my performance and how I can improve, my wider network in the organisation and beyond to share ideas on how to tackle issues creatively, share lessons learned and identify ways we can collaborate.

Who leans on you?

My partner and family for love, my friends for having a good time, exploring new activities and sharing issues, my manager for clarifying priorities and sounding out on tackling complex issues, my team with my leadership in clarifying priorities, my creativity in thinking and working differently to tackle issues, getting feedback on their performance and how they can improve, connecting them to my wider networks, my wider network in the organisation and beyond to share ideas on how to tackle issues creatively, share lessons learned and identify ways we can collaborate.

Are all your needs met? If not, why not?

I really value validation, and sometimes could benefit from getting this more from people who don’t provide as much. I am a person who doesn’t validate people that much, I instead concentrate on what they can improve, so I could provide more validation myself, to practice what I preach.

Who makes work happen in your group?

If it is a project initiated by someone else, the person leading it will do most of the work and others will work together and I will contribute as much and as well as I can, depending on my level of interest in it and how important I think it is. If it’s a project I’m leading, then the same will apply, even if I try increasingly to give people leadership roles.

If you disappeared tomorrow, how would your team respond?

My team wouldn’t close its doors, there wouldn’t be a period of chaos or a power struggle. I think instead, as I’ve supported them to work together as a team and support each other and devolve my influence/powers to them where appropriate, they would be able to redistribute their work and adjust for capacity, but there may some that would feel overwhelmed. This would make me feel confident that I’m trying to build collective leadership and power and people don’t need to be dependent on me.

What are you practising?

To become mindful, I do daily and sometimes bi-daily walks with my partner to stay fit and chat and get fresh air and see the different parts of my neighbourhood. I grow and make food as a way of discovering how I can help nurture a plant to grow well and understand the different factors that support that, and experiment with how I can cook different dishes that I haven’t cooked before. I also listen regularly to podcasts from thinkers on issues that are often not directly related to work but more to leadership and change, and ideally, not from my sector which makes me more curious. I also try and do a worry diary for each week to understand what I can plan & prepare for each meeting or piece of work I need to do and what role I’m best placed to play. I also try and blog as a way of working out in the open, sharing my direction and getting feedback on initial thinking.

What do you need to practice?

I could practise active meditation which I used to do for 30 minutes a day. I could eat slightly more healthily and not eat snacks in between meals. I could avoid multi-tasking as much so I can concentrate more fully in meetings or with my partner, friends or family outside of work. I could avoid pressuring myself to blog and tweet daily.

How long does it take you to understand your feelings and reactions?

I need specific spaces or time to reflect, either by writing a daily journal or doing my worry diary. Most importantly, I value someone else asking me the questions as it helps me open up more and understand more what’s going on.

How quickly do you translate experiences into lessons?

As above, I love discovering different ways to reflect and through blogging can translate experiences into a set of lessons that I then try and apply.

Do you increase or decrease tension or dramatic moments?

I always try and decrease it to reduce the risk of conflict and maintain cohesion.

What is your first reaction to conflict?

I reflect on what has happened and why the conflict took place. I try and understand what my responsibility was to influence the conflict — whether I’m involved in it directly or not. Could I have foreseen it and tried to avoid it? Could I have acted differently to stop it when it was occurring? When it comes to personal conflict within my team, I’ve always acted on it immediately to understand from each party what the reasons are and then to defuse it. When it comes to conflict overviews on a direction I’m going in, if I feel it’s meant as constructive, I’m more than happy to adapt the approach. If I feel they are using a disagreement because they don’t believe in the project or my skills, then I take it more personally and maybe don’t tackle the conflict head-on.

Head of Strategy (Communities) @camdencouncil #localgov Director @euroalter Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese