I moved eight times in the first 10 years of my professional career, always at the request of my employer. When I was a project manager, I made a point to accept the difficult projects others stayed away from.
And now, at my own company, when a client requests a service that we don't typically offer, we educate ourselves and then find a way to provide that service. Why? Because I understand the value of being flexible.
Every CEO, even those who have worked for the same company their entire careers, can attest to experiencing many personal or professional changes. They have held multiple roles, managed unique and challenging assignments, adjusted to new policies or processes, responded to market changes, moved to new cities, and taken on new responsibilities. What all these leaders have in common is the ability to successfully maneuver through change. They also know they must remain flexible.
Rarely has a company or an individual ever been successful by doing the same thing over and over again for many years. Change is crucial for long-term success. Yet for any change to be successful, flexibility is required.
When I am assembling a management team, I seek a mixture of personalities and a combination of diverse skill sets and talents. I look for attitudes of both optimism and pessimism within the team. I want my ideas and opinions to be challenged, and invite discourse and discussion. But I also expect my team to be flexible, and to be willing to adapt and transform to accomplish our goals.
Flexibility allows us to easily adapt and adjust as dictated by markets or events. It causes us to take on change when it is necessary for the success of the organization. It drives us to seek new challenges, greater knowledge,innovative ideas and relevant training.
Lack of flexibility is among the greatest impediments to growth and continual success. No customer wants to work with a company that is rigid, and no CEO wants to work with an employee who is inflexible.