Agile Leaders are Resourceful
As Interstates presses on toward being an Agile Organization, I want to continue the discussion of what it looks like to be an agile leader. So far, we've talked about the traits of being reflective and responsive. Today I want to look at being resourceful.
What does it mean to be a resourceful leader? Pamela Meyer in her book The Agility Shift defines resourcefulness as the ability to use and improvise with the resources you do have, while being aware of what you don’t have.” Resourceful leaders can think on their feet, work with what they have, know what they don’t have, as well as what they have access to. Resourcefulness does not mean you have unlimited or full resources available to you.
Agile leaders need to be resourceful when the unexpected happens. This could be something small like an employee being out for a day or something bigger, like a vendor going out of business unexpectedly. In both cases, the ability to come up with a quick, creative solution is needed. One must be open to adapting their plan, and sometimes adapting that plan more than once! A leader must ask themselves how they can make the task at hand successful. You might not have all the right answers, but you keep your head up and keep moving forward. You don’t waste energy by dwelling on what you don’t have. A resourceful leader is scrappy and figures things out on the fly.
At Interstates, resourcefulness comes into play on a regular basis. It could be when landing a project requiring more people than we have available. When this happens, our people deployment team needs to be resourceful. They need to be able to see the available resources across the organization and tap into them. Internally, teams may need to be shifted around to free people up for the unexpected project. Project schedules with flexibility may need to be adjusted. Another possible solution could be reaching out to business partners or others in our network of contacts to see if anyone has extra manpower we could draw upon.
Resourcefulness is a problem-solving mind-set. It takes being intention as well as practice. So, what can you do to become a more resourceful leader? Meyer offers the following skills and indicators to help guide your efforts:
Idenfity and play within the givens
Comfort with uncertainty & change
New product development
How are you doing at being a resourceful leader? What ways can you continue to develop this skill as you pursue agility?
Doug Post, Interstates President