Leading and Listening through Adaptive Challenges

I recently read a book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, that described adaptive challenges as “gaps generated by bold aspirations amid challenging realities”.

Let me break this down.

Bold
showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous.

Aspiration
a hope or ambition of achieving something

Challenging
testing one’s abilities; demanding.

Realities
a thing that is actually experienced or seen, especially when this is unpleasant.

So basically, adaptive challenges is the willingness to be courageous, hopeful and carryout ambition in achieving something even when the circumstances around you are completely unpleasant, uncomfortable and unprecedented.

Adaptive challenges are times where leadership is tested to be innovative, creative, and develop solutions that others are not. These are moments and gaps where a few individuals show up and shine because they do not allow the pressures to tear them a part, but they allow their leadership to confront the dilemma and adapt. Leadership does not come from the top down, but it is diffused in every level and we need to be ready to show up in times like today for both our professional and personal lives. It takes both the macro and micro changes to create ripples that overall make genuine progress.

In regard to today and adaptability in leadership, the biggest challenge is not actually the pandemic itself, but it is you. It is having the ability to identify what truly makes your heart beat and the pains that you believe are worth addressing and pursuing solutions for.

As individuals (who I consider all leaders in one capacity or another) this is a time that we need to adaptable more than ever. We also need to start to listen to what is going on around us. This is more than our agenda; this is something we are experiencing together, and we need to start listening. We have to understand people, and go beyond our own struggles, but hear and comprehend what others are enduring as well.

We need to step out, have courage and grab a hold of the greater purpose we were all made for. Even as we are distanced, let us start to be more present, more intentional and continue to adapt daily.

Let us create a new narrative of what is today and stop wishing for what was.
Let us pivot and continue to create even through hardship.
Let us grow in our tenacity and our willingness to do good even in the frustrating moments. Let us push through negativity and find the sunshine.
More so, let us be there for each other.

This time will pass. This season will be part of memories in years to come. Through all of it though, when we reflect back – my hope is that we see a time where we grew closer to our purpose and showed up even when it was hard.

From your fellow friend who is always here to listen,

the modern day entrepreneur

There are many days that I forget to look up. I push and push and push. I look forward, I plan, I strive for the next day and in the midst of it I forget to look up, stop and truly feel the wind touch my face. It is not that I am wanting the present moment to pass, nor am I merely surviving, but I am striving to always be a little better, to reach a little further and for the first time… today I am thinking that is not always the way.

I have mixed emotions because I am not struggling with contentment, I am struggling with the fact that I have limitations put on me from the world that distracts, destroys and dismisses impact. I am a challenger by nature and I am a force when you meet me. Some say I am intimidating, others say I am passionate or just really intense.

All I know is that I love to see good win. I love to see it grow. I love to see doors open so wide that people do not have to worry about it being shut before they make it there.

The reality is the world has limits. We do not have everything at our fingertips and it takes work. I have been hustling hard for over a decade and today it was if the spirit whispered in my ear, “jenny I got you.”

My first response, ‘I know’.

My second response, ‘do I really know?’

Many days seem impossible and then I close my eyes and wake up with a renewed energy, ready to embrace the new possibilities of tomorrow and keeping the chapters of shut doors as distant memories of yesterdays.

I look forward to the day when I will wake up and know there will [always] be an open door waiting for me and more importantly, I will truly have the time to look up and take it all in.

Until that day, you will find me in process, putting one foot in front of the other choosing to not give up, but to only stand strong and search for progression.

Yours truly,
the modern-day entrepreneur