Adaptable Leadership

If you were to name the most important leadership skill heading into 2021, what might it be?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a book called Nimble. It’s mostly about holding loosely to your script when facilitating meetings and workshops, but I could never have predicted how the broader concept of nimbleness would come to shape my entire practice now. So my vote for the key leadership skill most needed today would go to adaptability. (No kidding, right?! Good riddance, 2020…)

That’s why I attended a certification course last week that equipped me to use a new tool that measures the Adaptability Quotient of individuals and teams. I’m excited to add AQ to my toolbox in 2021.

As you look ahead, what might the new tool be that you need to add to your toolbox?


The title of Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What got you here won’t get you there, always resonates with me. If you do more of what you’ve been doing in 2020, will it get you to where you want to be by the end of 2021?

Course correction might be needed. But you also might need to fill a skill gap. Do you have an inkling of where you want to go, but don’t yet know how to get there?

It’s a bit late to add to your wish list for gifts under the tree later this week, but you could give yourself a gift of upskilling in one specific area this year. Learn a new approach, or intentionally invite someone new into your network who brings a skill you don’t have.

And here’s the trick: schedule it in right now. Before 2020 wraps up. You’ll be so glad you moved it from your mind to your calendar when you come back to work in 2021.


Wishing you rest, joy, and holidays that feel different than most of this year has felt for most of us. I’ll look forward to reconnecting with you in what I trust will truly be a happy new year.

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