Adaptive Leadership and the Leadership Personality Quiz

Feb 24, 2015 by

Leadership practices in connected congregations look and feel different than synagogue leadership of the past.  Today leaders are wrestling with questions about the future vision of synagogue life, and charting new territory in evolving models, programs and strategies.  Read on to learn more.  You can watch our webinar here, and download the Adaptive Leadership Personality Quiz here.

Adaptive challenges require adaptive leaders and leadership.  Many congregations have not consciously focused on cultivating adaptive leaders and leadership culture, but would benefit greatly from such focus.  Think about not only the people you need, but the culture, processes and ongoing leadership pipeline that will support you in your ongoing journey to become a connected congregation. Consider the following three categories:

PEOPLE:  What people, skills, talents and experience do you need on your board and committees, and playing other leadership roles in your community?  Strong adaptive teams will include:

  • The Community Builder.  Builds consensus and mobilizes around common causes.
  • The Risk Evaluator. Objectively assesses costs and benefits (re: financial, human and social capital)
  • The Connector. Influential “social node” with relationships with various subgroups and individuals.
  • The Entrepreneur.  Agile, startup generator
  • The Visionary Leader.  Big picture thinker who can envision possibilities.
  • The Implementer.  “Do-er” who can move from concept to implementation.
  • The Facilitator.  Meeting or process facilitator. Designs and/or leads/guides.
  • The Communicator.  Skilled at tailoring the message and using various channels to get it out, as well as listening inward.
  • The Mediator.  Intercessor who can bring about consensus and/or mobilize forward motion.
  • The Synthesizer.  Analyst who can consolidate views (“This is what I heard and…”)

PROCESS: What adaptive and collaborative practices and cultural adjustments are needed to help you work as an effective adaptive team? Strong adaptive teams will have the following characteristics:

  • Open.  Permeable boundaries to the leadership team.
  • Action Oriented.  Seizing the moment; prioritizing “doing”.
  • Iterative.  Willing to revisit and adapt previous decisions on the basis of data and experience.
  • Agile. Being nimble in order to take advantage of emergent opportunities.
  • Momentum Seeking.  Not stuck in status quo; constantly on a growth trajectory.
  • Transparent.  Culture of sharing information.
  • Positivist.  Culture of abundance (rather than scarcity); reframe challenges as opportunities.
  • Trusting & Mutually Respectful.  Stance of openness and listening to the perspectives of others.
  • Authentic Modeling of Relationship Building.  Know one another; personal connections.

PROCESS:  To what extent does your leadership team have ways to continually identify, cultivate, on-board, develop and nurture leaders?  What does this mean for your next nomination process?

  • Leadership identification mechanism. How to identify attributes you need, and who can bring those attributes.
  • Leadership cultivation practices. Gradual integration into leadership.
  • Leadership on-boarding processes. Orientation, culture setting and mentoring.
  • Leadership development activities.  Ongoing board development.
  • Leadership nurturing.  Recognition, support, reflection, celebration.

Take the Connected Congregations Adaptive Leadership Personality Quiz to identify which of these attributes you’ve already integrated, and which could use more intentionality in your congregation.   You might consider having your team each complete the quiz individually, and then compare your results.  What did you learn by taking the quiz?   Share your experience in the comments!

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