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By Dr. Paul Aitken, ABP Conference Speaker 2013

Leadership -01

Feeling the effects of austerity

Austerity is a normal part of the business cycle, a season for deeper reflection on how we arrived at where we are and in preparation for what might come next.  Our leadership agility determines how prepared we are to renew, survive and thrive.  We can learn to use different leadership agility practices depending on which part of the season we are in and we must start with understanding our personal values.

Our values act as our inner compass in times of change, alerting us to who we want to work with, what we want to work on, and how we want to work.  If we are aligned to our values, then we will make the most of our potential, and contribute in ways which we feel will become part of our legacy.  Once we are clear what releases our discretionary motivation, we can harness this energy to renew ourselves and others who we value at work and in life.

Aiming for sustainability

We know from business management research that difficult times often produce the most innovations, although without knowing how to survive and thrive, start-up enterprises often fail soon after.  So, the leadership agility practices for implementing and embedding our early ideas are fundamental for sustainable business success.

However, with success can come complacency and arrogance, which is why we need to retain our ability to periodically review and renew what we started out with, before the world leaves us behind and into a prolonged period of austerity.  As such, the cycle repeats itself, and hence the need to reflect when we are not so consumed by the everyday busyness and happiness of our lives.  Sustainability should be our goal and living the leadership agility practices is the key to achieving this.

About next week’s workshop

This session on mastering leadership agility will enable you to reflect on and discover the personal values driving your work and life, with a view to working out whether they are still fit for purpose or not.  Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to assess yourself and your organisation using indicators for the 12 practices.

We have used these insights with managers around the world and find them to be universally applicable and we will share some extracts from case studies, including how to develop leadership agility for personal and business continuous improvement.  Our intention is to help people and their enterprises become sustainability resilient.

If we can help one another achieve this through purposeful use of the season of austerity, perhaps a time when we are challenged most or can be most challenging, this can lead us to times of reviewable prosperity, without impacting negatively on any one or any living thing that has benefited us along the way.


About the author

Paul Aitken -01Paul is a dual national (UK &NZ) leadership and organisational development adviser/educator and CEO and partner of Mastering Leadership Agility Ltd.

He is also first author of the book ‘Developing Change Leaders’, Visiting Faculty at Henley Business School, Southampton University, the National University of Ireland, and Adjunct Professor at Bond University (Australia).

If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to find out more, Paul’s session at the 2013 Annual ABP Conference is on Saturday 5th October, Wokefield Park, Reading.

To find out more about the conference and Paul’s session click here for more information

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