AL (adaptive leadership)

I just finished a 2-day course on adaptive leadership (super-abbreviated def: leading through change and ambiguity rather than leading through a technical solution).

The gist of the course was to get how AL works, then work through adaptive business challenges in peer groups.There was a bunch of other stuff in there to help drive the points across, as well as get  you to think about what semi-conscious things you may be doing that will hinder your progress.

One interesting task we did was create a “character sketch” of ourselves that would explain to the others in our peer group what made us tick. We had the “option” to write allegorically or metaphorically, but we only had an hour to write, so nobody in our group wrote metaphorically. For me, I wrote solid for about 50 minutes (pausing a few times for edits). I ended up with two type-written pages about “Fred” (we were supposed to give the character a name that wasn’t “me”). That way, when people discussed “the character”, they could talk about Fred instead of talking about Alan. Kind of corny, but it worked. After I read my story, the other 4 people in my group talked about “Fred” and dug in between the lines of the story I told. The cool part was that they nailed all of the things I didn’t write. I happened to be put in a group with extremely motivated and extremely intelligent people (even by MS standards), and I was in awe of their perceptive abilities.

One of the text books for the course was Leadership on the Line. If you’re interested in the subject of adaptive leadership, you should check it out.