How to Practice Dynamic Leadership
August 25, 2017
From businesses to nonprofits to the military, all organizations can benefit from dynamic leadership. Cpl. Matthew Progen at the Marine Corps Association & Foundation describes dynamic leadership as a dual-focused form of adaptive leadership where a leader reacts to changes by being proactive. It requires a fluid style of leadership that adjusts based on the two parts of dynamic leadership.
- The first half of dynamic leadership adapts to its audience. Leaders must adjust their style to reach the people they are leading. “Now, more than ever, dynamic leadership is a vital tool to overcome the challenges of reaching every Marine in a leader’s charge,” Progen said. “Dynamic leadership does not coddle individuality; it accepts diversity and enables leaders to be effective leaders to all of their Marines. It does not encourage eccentricity; it acknowledges the innate independence and adapts.”
- The second half of dynamic leadership adapts to the situation. Leaders may need to adjust instructions to what happens as the task at hand is carried out. “There are a lot of trendy catch phrases that attempt to describe this progression,” Progen said. “‘Thinking outside the box’ and ‘thinking quick on your feet’ are popular. However, dynamic leadership involves calculated decisionmaking that adequately evaluates the outcome of a unit’s actions and refines the instructions given in order to produce the desired results.”
Dynamic leaders are mentors who not only influence and develop the people they lead, but are able to read and react to different individuals and situations. “Those who desire to become outstanding leaders must also help those around them develop leadership skills,” according to Chris Stricklin at the business firm Switch and Shift. “The true measure of a leader is not just measured by success of their organization, but by the measure of leaders they influence and develop to follow in their footsteps.”
Becoming a Dynamic Leader
Stricklin identifies several ways to practice dynamic leadership in an article at Lifehack.
Focus on Positive Change
“For a change to be positive, it must decrease the time required, increase efficiency, improve structure or increase simplicity,” according to Stricklin. “Every desired or required improvement must meet at least one of these criteria. If it doesn’t, don’t do it.”
Leaders should empower members of an organization to ask questions. Workers should always be looking for better ways to function. “The newness of a job will wear off in six to nine months,” Stricklin said. “Before this happens, ask why the organization does each task the current way.”
Maximize the Use of “We, Us, Our” Phrases
Building a culture of teamwork means that leaders should move away from singular personal pronouns like “I, me, mine” and toward the use of “we, us, our” phrases. The latter set of terms allows the team to develop and share in success. It’s a simple strategy that helps leaders avoid becoming overly possessive and can greatly influence perceptions of the team.
Be Effective First, Efficient Second
The priority of leadership and the goal of any organization is to be effective. The focus of all efforts is meeting the predefined goal. Only when that is guaranteed should leaders turn their attention to efficiently accomplishing the task.
Recognize Time as the Most Critical Resource
No resource is more critical to every organization, each individual and all leaders as time. “Next time a meeting starts 15 minutes late, look around the room and count your team members,” Stricklin said. “Think of what could have been done in that wasted time. Think of the average hourly wage for the room. Do the math of how much your tardiness cost the company in real dollars, then add the frustration endured by your team (which is priceless).”
Leadership Is a Process
Leadership is defined by daily actions, not job title. Dynamic leaders improve their skill set by growing daily and learning as much as possible from every conversation, meeting, interaction and experience.
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