2013 06-09 iStock_000001077015XSmall SunflowerLeadership View #9:

An absolute skill of an effective leader is the ability to grow and adapt.

So often we find that what has made us successful in the past, is not working for us today.

From the entrepreneur who built a successful company what I hear is, “I got here because I know my product, and I know what my customers need. Along the way I added a team and now they need leadership and management and I don’t have any experience doing that.”

From the key executive I hear, “I got to this level on my business knowledge; I have always been the expert. Now, I know I need to develop the experts below me, how do I do that?”

For me the skill of an effective leader is first recognizing the need to grow and adapt and then finding resources to help us get there. Vistage members recognize this and look to their fellow members and chair to support them on this journey. Often members take the opportunity to share their challenges with other members who may be further along on the same journey.

And…those that take the risk of letting their teams know they are learning right along with the team are those that I observe adapt the fastest. Often it is the people who report to us that help us recognize the growth we need and teach us, by asking, what we need to do to be there for them.

After all, isn’t effective leadership really about taking care of our team so that they take care of the rest?

Elisa K. Spain


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