Sharpen Your Professional Saw!

By Barry Pruitt

dateFri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

What gives successful leaders the edge over everyone else? Top performing leaders act like entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs all share one core quality. You might wonder whether they were raised in an environment that valued education, or maybe they are naturally smarter than their classmates. Actually, the hidden skill that determined their success was their ability to adapt.

Learnable skills associated with adaptability include spontaneous control, scale recognition, and endurance.

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Let’s look at each of these qualities, and how they are used by highly adaptable – and highly successful – gazelle-like companies.

Spontaneous Control is the ability to grab, consider, manage and even optimize your response at the very moment adversity strikes. When faced with an unexpected situation or crisis, many of us reel in our spontaneous control after an initial blowup. Top performers seamlessly shift from recognizing a challenging situation to a smooth reaction without an external show of crisis. This is referred to as “the gateway to serenity."  It is a feature of your internal operating system that you can work on and improve. When successful, you'll enjoy the payoff of increased trust and respect and successful entrepreneurial leadership.

Scale Recognition is recognizing where a crisis fits in the "big" picture. People often catastrophize, allowing adversity to take over their time and energy before getting it under control. They may even be completely knocked off of their game when a relatively small adversity arises. Leaders who remain amused and determined when adversities occur are the ones who will be in a better position to achieve their goals. True leaders don’t hope for fewer problems, but rather the capacity to handle more problems, regardless of what issues come their way.

Endurance is the perception of how long the adversity will last. Many leaders are likely to perceive adversity as never ending. Successful leaders are those who remain optimistic and determined, confident that the situation will reverse itself quickly.

Once you understand your current ability to adapt and how to improve it, you can use your own skills to coach others in preparation for success in your fast company growth.



Barry Pruitt


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images