Effective leadership is essential for team success. For the modern leader to be effective, they must adapt to leadership style that is adaptive and flexible. Not every style of leadership is going to be effective for every given situation. When a leader can the flexible with their responses, then a team can have more success. It isn’t just for the short term. The Flexible Leadership Theory is the foundation of long-term innovation.
What Is the Focus of Flexible Leadership Theory?
What humans bring to the table is what the Flexible Leadership Theory focuses upon. Humans become a resource. It is up to the leader to manage that resource effectively. To be able to do so, they must be able to adapt to a specific set of circumstances and find the right level of leadership that is required. Although it seems like it would be a systems theory, it is not. The focus is on the influence that can be provided by adjusting leadership styles, not with the interaction that occurs within the changing variables.
On the surface, all organizations look the same. Even when you break down organizations into different industries or take a look at a large organization as a whole, there are a lot of similarities. What the Flexible Leadership Theory takes a look at are the differences that occur at the entry-level. A store in a chain of stores might be required to sell specific items. That’s the similarity. By incorporating an adaptive and flexible response, store could display items based on local preferences instead of company dictation.
This provides each entity with the greatest chance for success. Instead of having one person direct from above, every leader can direct from below based on their personal level of observations. Because these frontline leaders have better information, they can make better decisions. Executives must be flexible enough to allow these better decisions to be made.
Wouldn’t the Flexible Leadership Theory Be Inefficient?
On the surface, it seems like having leaders take on the responsibility at an individual level of making decisions would create a number of inefficiencies. The reason for this is because see this as a lack of central control. What the Flexible Leadership Theory says is that there is still control. It just comes in a different format. Instead of being rigid with one generic course of action being applied to all circumstances, every leader is given the flexibility to make specific decisions that create positive outcomes for the company as a whole.
Because humans are seen as a resource, their needs must also be emphasized. This might mean adjusting work schedules or having flexible commuting options so that work and life can be balanced. Study after study has shown that added flexibility in the workplace creates higher levels of morale. Higher morale leads to better sales.
The Flexible Leadership Theory can be difficult to adjust to when dictation has been the standard course of action. If given enough time, however, every organization can benefit from the innovation that is present at the individual level.