Are You Using an Adaptive Leadership Style?


Want to be successful in the business world? You’ll need to plan, organize, staff, lead and control your team to get across the finish line.

That means being both and effective manager – executing the day-to-day work of business – and a transformative leader – developing a vision for success and inspiring others to work together to achieve it. Great leaders are quick on their feet and adaptive because they know there is no one-size-fits-all management style when you’re leading a team with a diverse set of skills, backgrounds and talents and opinions.

We spoke with Sameer Vaidya, professor of business, about why leadership matters, what adaptive leadership is, and how he’s preparing a new generation of leaders at Texas Wesleyan.

Q: Why does good leadership matter in business?

A: “Despite all the technological advancements, running a business is still all about people. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your people and galvanizing them to achieve a common goal is the difference between a great business and a mediocre one. Effective leaders are able to motivate and challenge their employees to stretch their limits.”

Q: What is adaptive leadership?

A: “To me, adaptive leadership is the ability to lead diverse groups of people through dynamic, turbulent, and fluid situations. Adaptive leaders are just as effective in leading a group of experienced workers through a business reorganization as they are leading a group of freshly-minted college degree holders through a brand-new project.”

Q: How do you teach student to become better leaders?

A: “I teach my students to be honest with themselves as it relates to their own strengths and weaknesses when dealing with co-workers, subordinates, and supervisors. I emphasize the importance of possessing and, when necessary, honing their emotional intelligence skills. We discuss relevant theories and cases regarding current leaders we analyze traits, characteristics, and behaviors associated with effective leading. It’s fascinating to see students begin to grasp these ideas.”


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