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Sep 18

An Essential Leadership Skill: Adaptability

Editor’s note: Looking for help as you work with volunteers? Check out CTA’s new resources for Christian workers.

I recently participated in an event attended 25,000 high school students and their adult leaders. Again and again I found myself thinking that careful planning was essential to success. Adaptability was essential as well! 

You may not be preparing for 25,000 people to descend on your next event, but if you expect a crowd of 2 or 20 or 200 or 2000, adaptability will make both your planning and your execution more relaxed and joy-filled. 

Here are a few things to remember about adaptability: 

From the brainstorming stage to the actual event, the ideas you generate at first will almost certainly change. Some will change a little, some a lot. But change is inevitable. Space and budget constraints will make some of these changes necessary, but we need not get discouraged. Constraints often force us to come up with even better, more creative approaches! Look for the bright side as you adapt.   

No matter how carefully you work, some of the materials and supplies necessary for the experience you have in mind may not available. While our event is in progress, we may realize we have forgotten something – maybe an important something! In cases like these, adaptability means seeing the possibility in what is available, and doing something different. (Perhaps even, as we have said, something better!) 

No matter how hard we work to make sure that everything runs smoothly, glitches will happen. A lost reservation. A sudden blizzard. Meeting rooms that have been double booked. The list of possible glitches is endless. Adaptability means we get to choose how we respond. The most helpful response, usually, is to go with the flow and begin brainstorming other options. With the right attitude in place, this might actually be kind of fun. 

So what events lie in your future? I know my future holds lots of opportunities to adapt! I am going to plan, plan, plan. But I also carry with me an enthusiastic awareness that I can expect some surprises along the way. I am looking forward to seeing how these experiences will unfold. How about you?  

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 
© 2013 CTA, Inc. No duplication of this article is allowed without the express written consent of CTA, PO Box 1205, Fenton, MO 63026-1205. www.CTAinc.com.
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