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Adaptive Capacity, Sabotage, and Resilience
Episode #35 of the Third Turn Podcast with Tod Bolsinger.
Tod Bolsinger is deeply committed to helping us thrive as change leaders--which is honestly and by all counts a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Why?
Because the odds are stacked against us: Even prior to this unprecedented time of change and disruption that we’re living and leading through, studies have widely reported that nearly 90% of change initiatives fall short of expectations and a full 70% fail.
Because the dynamics of change undermine us: The contributing factors seem far more elusive and less scientific, but are no less standard and predictable.
And because especially at leadership’s Third Turn, the stakes are high and can be quite personal: Leading in liminal space and “peering into the mist” (as we often say) are accompanied by temptations to cling to our position and/or resort to peacemaking w/various constituencies, which will undermine the very changes we long to see.
Tod’s gifts as a pastor and teacher, his MDiv and Ph.D. credentials, along with his over 30 years of leadership experience shine as he articulates the dynamics of leading in adaptive territory--which requires that we as leaders:
- Let go of any sense of expertise and embrace “I don’t know” and learning as we go;
- Continue to lead with clarity when we can’t provide certainty--which is what people really want;
- Understand that people crave familiarity, get overwhelmed by disorientation, and experience change as loss--and we best help them navigate this;
- Be prepared to withstand the backlash and sabotage that happens after you’ve made a change.
All of this speaks to the need to be aware that even leaders with the best of intentions can inadvertently collude with the status quo for non-change, falling victim to what Tod calls both failure of nerve (a classic Edwin Friedman term) and failure of heart (where we become cynical, disconnected, and tempted to abandon our call).
And the opportunity instead?
Tod reinforces the heart of our Maestro-level leaders mission: To help Third Turn leaders see their legacy as passing on to others and becoming a resource for change agents--sharing wisdom and strength and coaching and mentoring that sows into the organization’s future, the mission’s thriving, and the leaders that follow.
Check out Tod's books:
- Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change
- Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory
- Leadership for a Time of Pandemic: Practicing Resilience
And Tod’s consulting and coaching practice:
- AE Sloan Leadership - Helping faith leaders thrive as change leaders
With each episode of the Third Turn Podcast we host a conversation among leaders who want the world to flourish for generations beyond their lifetimes.
Listening with others in some way and enjoying in-depth conversations of your own as you reflect and choose what you would do the same or differently is a plus!
We always welcome you sharing these podcasts with others as well as sending along any suggestions for making these podcasts better.
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Tags:organizational leaders, organizational problem solving, leadership legacy, Managing Change, leadership transition, Transforming Influence, change, Maestro-level Leaders, The Third Turn, Maestro, Future Value, leadership culture, adaptive capacity, resilience
December 7, 2021