Jack be nimble; Jack be quick; Jack jump over the candlestick. Mother Goose was right. With life moving faster, change is becoming normal and the way we navigate the world’s complexities are becoming even more intricate. Agility is perhaps our most important skill. And it certainly was for Jack.
Cheetahs can teach us a lot about the importance of agility when it comes to success. I read this article in the New York Times on the cheetah’s secret weapon (linked below). We all know that cheetahs are incredibly fast. If you have been blessed to see them with your own eyes when they are on a hunt or even on a documentary, their speed is jaw-dropping. Yet it turns out that their big hunting secret is their agility and their ability to change direction quickly, including leaping sideways and coming to an abrupt halt.
You can go as fast as you want in your business, yet without being nimble-footed and agile, the rapidly changing landscape can catch you by surprise. The principles of management, which have been taught for years, depended upon stability and known factors as its foundation. Where management took stability for granted, leadership provides principles that work in the face of the unknown. We must focus ourselves and our teams on developing our capacity for leadership. And not just any leadership – Compassionate Leadership.
The future seems to be coming faster at us than ever before and it won’t slow down. This is the new normal. So, to go forward we need to go faster and be more flexible at the same time. In that acceleration, we must recognise that we cannot be the same, think the same, act the same if we hope to be successful in a world that does not remain the same.