Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to DrTony@Assessments24x7.com!

Adaptability

What is it?

Adaptability is the willingness and ability to change and improve to meet the needs of different industry swings, market circumstances, and dynamic business needs. Remaining pliable and composed throughout unpredictable situations and market anomalies, while becoming stronger through the necessitated and improvisational change.

Why is it important?

There are two components of adaptability, which make being adaptable an essential item in an entrepreneur's repertoire of attributes. The first is an entrepreneur's willingness to change and be flexible as circumstances evolve. This is critical to life in general, but most pertinent to business as both are dynamic and have an essence of unpredictability and chaos. The simple fact is that life and business have a nebulous corridor where planning and thoughtful preparation may not equip you for every situation that may occur. Different market factors, such as stock market crash, inflation, or current events, may directly or indirectly influence a strategy, causing a sudden 180-degree change in direction.

The second component is an entrepreneur's uncanny propensity to improve and excel in opportunities for adaptation- becoming stronger through change. Entrepreneurs view change and 'thinking on their feet' as an opportunity for reward rather than risk or hazard.

The simple fact is that life and business rarely go according to plan and require both a tolerance for uncertainty and confidence in dealing with it. Entrepreneurs may run into numerous dilemmas ranging from technology problems during a critical presentation with investors to something simple like not having a business card to hand out.

There can be several areas that require a tolerance for uncertainty and a steadfast approach to being adaptable, especially in the beginning stages of a business. Entrepreneurs may be required to endure financial insecurity while raising capital, remain flexible to meet other's schedules and calendars, and prepare multiple presentations depending upon different unknown variables such as size of the room, resources at locations, audience, etc.

How to get it if you don't have it?

Sometimes being able to adapt isn't solely mitigated with the ability to think on your feet; in most cases thoughtful preparation is the genesis to successfully adapting to different environments and situational needs. Prepare, rehearse, and know your material inside and out, this will provide you with a great start to being flexible.

Make it a point to be willing to change. Be open to new ideas and unplanned activities. Very little in life is fixed, and entrepreneurs must be willing to be flexible in many areas.

How to develop it if you have it?

To develop this trait one may try thinking through different scenarios: worst case, most-likely case, and best case. This simple preparation method allows you to be ready for different situations, even though it may not cover everything. Visualization is a great way to prepare without the pressure of being forced to think on your feet right away. Try visualizing a presentation without all of your notes and cheat sheets one day. It may surprise you with how well you do, and your ability to improvise.

 

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This article was adapted, with permission, from the One Minute Entrepreneur book, co-authored by my colleagues and friends, Ken Blanchard and Don Hutson with Ethan Willis. Please visit this site for details about the One Minute Entrepreneur book and be sure to take your complimentary One Minute Entrepreneur Assessment too.
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