One of the main functions of leadership is setting out a vision for the future and defining the path to get there. This doesn’t involve too much detail or analysis but letting your team know what you are thinking and the benefits of achieving the aims you set out.
The paths we and our organisations take is rarely (never!) linear. Life is not static, change is happening all around us. Sometimes we drive this change, sometimes it is imposed upon us, but in both cases the effect is the same: the aim and the plan may need to be revisited. Even if the end point still looks right, then it is highly likely that your predicted route will have to adapt to the new circumstances.
As a leader, you have to take account of changes that you can foresee as well as those that happen along the way. This means you need to be both proactive in looking ahead but also reactive to circumstances. When things change, then a leader must not be afraid to re-evaluate both the aim and the predicted path they are taking their team along.
This means that flexibility and adaptability are vital weapons in a leader’s armoury as they should always be looking at new ways of delivering their aims. Teams get confidence from a leader that demonstrates that they are capable of using new information or circumstances to improve the plan as it shows they are listening and paying attention to what is going on around them. It also shows that they have the courage to change direction when it is required rather than sticking to what they may know best.
In summary: don’t be scared of changing your approach or plan in the face of new information or changing circumstances. Being too rigid can mean that you get left behind….
Don’t be afraid of changing tack