How to Be a Superstar Leader: Managing With Flexibility

March 31, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

It takes about a day in anyone’s world as an adult to realize that everybody is different. Yes, there are some similarities here and there, but for the most part, we are all very unique. From our background to our appearance to our experience to our personality, we are different. So, it makes all the sense in the world that a leader’s ability to be flexible MATTERS.

In fact, the analogy that comes to mind for me is this: We’d never call someone a chef [or even a decent cook for that matter] if they could only cook one dish. We’d deem someone a chef that has mastered the art of cooking. Now, that doesn’t mean that chefs can’t specialize in one cuisine over another, but the caliber of a chef sort of depends on one’s ability to improvise as needed, without compromising the quality of whatever is cooked. Well, the same is asked of leaders.

A leader can’t always pick and choose the sort of team, projects, environments, or crises that will come one’s way. If a leader can’t determine how to navigate the unpredictable waters, he or she will probably go down with the ship. To some extent, it’s really about going with the flow to adapt to what your followers need without forfeiting the things that matter.

Your team is going to vary by individual. The level of need, knowledge, experience, behavior and guidance will inevitably change by day by team member by project. That’s a lot of change. So, will you be the leader that refuses to make adjustments accordingly? Or will you be the one leading the pack through the unprecedented territory? Will you expect every member of your team to be on the same page as you at all times and become frustrated when one falls short? Or will you willingly and cooperatively work to understand the unique needs of each team member, so that you can effectively and collaboratively reach your goals together? Is it about you or is it about your team members?

Your approach as a leader must adapt to the needs of your followers. It cannot be all about you if you’re hoping to help your team reach success. For example, if you have team members who are struggling, the help you need to offer them would feel too handholding for a top performer. Yet, what you’d give the star on your team would be too overwhelming for a beginner. And really, the only way to adapt as needed is to KNOW YOUR TEAM. Ask questions, get to know what makes them tick, and determine the skill and will behind your employees – so that you can tailor your approach as much as possible.

As you seek to reach the ranks of good bosses if not superstar leaders, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I know what makes each of my team members motivated? Discouraged?
  • Do I know the level of skill of each employee? Am I adapting to the abilities of each?
  • Am I creating an environment that encourages uniqueness and difference?
  • Am I suffocating others by making them feel like they have to be a certain way (“my way or the highway”)?
  • How am I utilizing each person to his or her utmost potential, regardless of how he or she compares to other team members?
  • Am I rigid and unable to adapt to needs and team members accordingly?
  • What am I doing to make progress in this strategy?

Awhile back, I came across this anonymous quote, which suits this strategy well. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” It’s an excellent image to keep in mind as you’re hoping to become a better leader. It’s almost as if you’re completing one big puzzle. Each piece is unique, in order for the whole project to be complete. And just like putting together a puzzle, leading a team takes a lot of patience, resiliency, and versatility. You can’t know it all before you get started, but you can be open to figuring it out along the way based on what fits, what’s needed and what works.

By the way, do you want to assess or learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership flexibility skills so you can improve today?

If so, I suggest you check our free assessment:

Or, do you want to learn now how to be a superstar leader to achieve dynamic and sustainable high performance increases with your team?

If so, I suggest you check this out:

Rick Conlow is co-founder and CEO with WCW Partners, a management consulting and training firm. Rick has helped organizations increase sales 218%, improve repeat and referral business by 20%, increase customer retention to 99%, reduce complaints by 60% and achieve 34 quality awards. You can reach Rick at: or 888-313-0514.

Article Source:

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Prev Post:
Next Post: