Oct 25, 2007

Mid - Level Managers Symposium

Earlier today, I attended the Mid Level Managers Symposium - organized by the ELC. This was my first time at this event and my first time in DC. Truth be told - this has been a week of many firsts. The theme for this event was - Breaking through - Using Adaptive Leadership In our ever changing Corporate Environment. The keynote was delivered by Don Thompson, President of MacDonald's USA. I've decided to dedicate a separate post to put down my thoughts about his speech.

Following his keynote, we broke out into the first of two half-day workshops. Each Workshop centered around the overall theme for the event - Adaptive Leadership. We heard brief speeches from panelists and hosts followed by round table discussions - driven by facilitators at each table. I came away impressed with the depth of knowledge which ELC members have and their devotion to sharing their knowledge with others. This is a great Symposium for any minorities who aspire to take on leadership positions in the Global Corporate World. Below are my key takeaways regarding Adaptive Leadership.

Adaptive Leadership is a mindset. It's a set of strategic practices which an individual consciously implements in order to develop the adaptability to thrive in complex, competitive and challenging environments. It's about strengthening one's own self awareness and tuning your antenna to the behaviors and actions of others. Leadership can be learned, It is not an inherent set of traits such as charisma or charm.
Adaptive leadership teaches individuals how to enhance the effectiveness of their interactions by adapting their approach to people, based on what they want to discuss and how they think people will respond. By better meeting the needs of each individual, leaders create higher levels of engagement and organizational results. In the case of Corporations, much depends on having widespread leadership that can come from anywhere within an organization, not just from those in top positions of authority. Because adaptive change generates resistance, exercising leadership can be both difficult and dangerous.

An Adaptive Leader expects change - even welcomes it. It's important to find ways to make your daily grind as uncomplicated as possible - whether that means breaking down issues and deliverables into pint sized tasks or effectively delegating down to subordinates and managing up to your boss. I re-learnt importance of making meaningful connections and building good and sustainable relationships. These are key focus areas for any adaptive leader. I also leanrt that it's important to leave all your relationships well.

Any visible minority, trying to navigate through the challenges and identify the opportunities which the Corporate world provides, must first learn to adapt to a new environment - whilst remaining true to specific principles and values. That's the key to staying grounded. In the weeks and months ahead, I'll develop these theme further and share more of my insights from the ELC Conference.........

No comments: