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A modern approach to team leadership - how to stay one step ahead


Nowadays it is clear that the form of work is changing. Not only when and where one works, but what is considered as work is also changing. This naturally brings a number of unpredictable situations that need to be responded to quickly.

Managing teams in such an environment places entirely new demands on the manager, who must be able to give the team the support and confidence to work together in this environment; they must know how to motivate - regardless of whether their team is present in the office or working online.


Let's not forget that managers are the ones who are 70% responsible for their team's engagement. To achieve this, they need to set clear expectations and clear goals, among other things. Although these two tasks seem trivial, the survey showed that only 6 out of 10 employees know what is expected of them at work.


Managers thus often have a very difficult task ahead of them: to set clear goals and expectations at a time when many situations cannot be predicted, information is missing or inaccurate, and at the same time it is necessary to react very quickly. This places high demands on their mental resilience and ability to adapt to constant change.


Managers therefore need to be equipped with a different set of skills than has been the case to date. On the one hand, they need to focus more on people and relationships. On the other hand, they need to be able to face challenges calmly and make appropriate decisions in the face of constant change.

In other words, managers should apply Adaptive Leadership



What will adaptive leadership solve?


Adaptive leadership is the ability to embrace the process of change at the individual and group level. The goal is to recognise what is truly essential and use it to achieve the necessary goal.


This style of leadership is unique in its approaches to change and problem solving. It shows how to manage those problems that have no clear-cut or one-size-fits-all / universal solution. Often a completely unique solution must be sought and the manager must face a whole set of uncertainties.


Model by Harvard Business Review


Harvard Business Review presents a model of adaptive leadership that consists of the following four parts:


- Anticipation - the ability to predict likely future developments, opportunities or needs

- Sharing - properly communicating these developments and gaining support within the team to take the necessary action

- Adaptation - continually evaluating individual actions and making adjustments

- Responsibility - including transparency in decision-making processes and openness to feedback



Model by Gallup


Gallup, which conducted a survey last year, lists three skill and performance pillars that every manager can use when working with employees, no matter where the employee is located. These pillars address one of the biggest trends of our time, which is the hybrid work environment.


In short, these pillars are:

- Setting goals and achieving them >> My work

- Partnership for effectiveness >> My team

- Translating work into results >> My customer



Tips on how to lead employees on home office


Tips on how to lead is one of the issues that adaptive leadership tries to address. You can't leave your employees at the mercy of an online environment with basic virtual tools, it is essential to adapt their daily tasks. Gallup lists some of them:


1. Increase the frequency of conversations

More frequent interaction helps keep track of task completion and potential obstacles while helping employees feel supported.


2. Think about the location

In a hybrid work environment, employees must be able to fully concentrate. So they need to be in a place that allows them to focus. This may be different for each employee, but there should be no distractions, the employee must have a stable network connection, and they must be in constant contact with their managers.


3. Set clear and specific milestones

Link the set goals to clear and specific milestones ( sub-goals) so that it is clear to everyone that the task is being accomplished. Everyone needs to see the results of their work. Especially those who work in a hybrid environment


4. Managers must be available

Employees need to feel supported and have easy access to answers to their questions that they would otherwise easily resolve if they were in their workplace. For example, having consultation hours on your calendar can be helpful, so employees are clear about when you are available.


5. Do not neglect relationships

During individual or team meetings, take some time to talk in person. Keep in mind that this kind of chatting is common in the workplace. In the age of telecommuting, we sometimes forget that you need to nurture relationships and care about employees even when you cannot physically see them.


6. Do not forget about justice.

If you manage a hybrid or mixed team, pay attention to differences or disagreements that may arise between employees who are in the office and those who work online. Make sure that both groups, no matter where they are, have the same information, while ensuring that neither group is disadvantaged in decision-making, for example.


And what are the benefits of adaptive leadership?


Adaptive leaders are ready to change the rules and lead the team in the right direction. They recognise that employees need to be treated individually, as everyone is motivated to work in a different way. Their approach is based on empathy and understanding, which builds a positive work environment that leads to higher employee loyalty and engagement.


The work environment and conditions change as the situation evolves dynamically, which is the first signal that change is inevitable. No company is immune to change, and adaptive leadership means being prepared for these situations.

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