Being able to adapt to changing conditions is very, very important not only for living things, but also for legal entities that own and operate organs just like living things. Being able to catch and adapt to changes depends on leaders who can adapt to changes, have a flexible structure and put self-improvement in the forefront in their lives. In other words, if such leaders work in the institution, the probability of that institution coming to the forefront and staying in the future increases.
Adaptation is simply adapting to changing conditions. This term, which we are more familiar to see in biology lessons, manifests itself not only in the evolutionary process but also in business life. In other words, institutions and organizations that can adapt to environmental conditions and innovations in the best way, or in other words, have been as successful in maintaining their own existence. According to an article published in Forbes, adaptability is the desire to change one’s own ideas and perceptions and to be aware of them.
Flexibility Forbes has defined it as meeting others in the middle. In other words, not being fixed minded, adapting to other individuals actually indicates flexibility. In addition, being able to easily adapt to changes also finds a place in the definition of flexibility. On the other hand, flexible working hours, which almost everyone is familiar with, are also used within this concept. However, the subject mentioned here is in accordance with what we stated in the first sentence of this section.
Namely, when it comes to flexible working, individuals sacrifice themselves in order to adapt to other individuals. When we think on the basis of a leader, while a leader guides his employee, he adds a mentoring work to the others on top of his own time. On the other hand, in an internationally operating organization, employees must go beyond their own working hours in order to communicate with people in other countries where there is a time difference. A leader who can do that is an effective leader.
The pandemic has changed the world like never before and opened the option for real and legal persons to keep up with the changing times or to become worse in this process. The most important example of this was seen in commercial enterprises and during this period many businesses went bankrupt or had to shrink financially. In the same direction, businesses with reduced jobs also dismissed some of their employees, and there were negative effects between sectors due to the snowball effect. If we consider the banking sector, while the transition to working remotely due to the pandemic did not cause major problems for businesses that were previously prepared for this situation, businesses that were not prepared for this had great difficulties. For example, banks investing in alternative distribution channels have been able to perform many things remotely, especially with their mobile applications, and their business volumes have increased rather than decreased. It goes without saying that the leaders’ adaptability and flexibility abilities that make this happen are exceedingly high. Because such leaders were able to take visionary steps by interpreting market conditions well, and they were able to protect their institutions in a way that would suffer the least damage during the virus period.
Visionary leaders can adapt to changes much more easily. The decrease in the number of bank branches around the world and the tendency towards alternative distribution channels clearly shows this to us. Namely, according to the Banks Association of Turkey data in Turkey in 2002, when about 6,500 bank branches, this number was closer to 9,000 the year of 2009 was 11,564 in 2017, and has fallen to 9867’y as of February 8, 2021. Businesses with high maneuverability and agile leaders have been able to adapt to changing conditions and have reduced the number of branches by realizing that people are now turning to alternative distribution channels instead of using traditional banking methods. Considering that the usage rates of alternative distribution channels and especially mobile branches have doubled during the pandemic period, this thesis is also confirmed by statistical data.
As a result, leaders with high adaptability and flexibility can adapt very quickly to changing conditions. The pandemic period has shown us very well how these competencies can be used. While leaders with strong competencies were little affected by the change and even increased the profits of the institutions they work with, businesses that had classical thinking, did not take measures and were in trouble to save the day, had financial difficulties. So much so that, according to the statistical information announced, many businesses had to declare their bankruptcy during the pandemic period.
“Mental flexibility in England on May 9, 2019, An event titled “and leadership” was organized. In this event, the UK Institute of Leadership and Management made suggestions on how leaders can improve their mental flexibility and become a better leader. At the conference, it was commented that leaders should expand their visions by approaching the picture with a holistic perspective and taking into account employee competencies, rather than focusing on specific difficult issues. In addition, the importance of stopping and thinking before acting with emotions under stress and not succumbing to emotions was also conveyed. Against the stress that increases excessively during work, doing things that will relax the mind and alleviate yourself will help you to continue your work and relationships in a more calm and peaceful way. Therefore, it is very important to engage in activities that reduce stress, such as sports or hiking. On the other hand, accepting people as they are rather than trying to change them appears to be a method that reduces stress but increases flexibility. For this reason, a flexible leader will both have higher inner peace and manage their business better. Not resisting and being able to adapt to change is another competence that leaders should attach importance to. In this way, leadership competencies can be used more actively.
According to the article published by Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness, flexibility is a business requirement. For this reason, leaders should attach importance to their flexibility and try to improve them. According to the article, a leader should think about what to answer before acting impulsively. He should spare time for himself and his family, plan the future, set expectations well, pay attention to the selection of his teammates, ask and give feedback, develop internal friendships and friendship ties, give importance to problem solving, use his time well and help other people set goals. A leader can only be an effective leader if he has achieved all of these. Because being an effective leader actually means keeping up with the times. A leader who does not have the ability to adapt cannot keep up with the times. The person who does not value their employees cannot be a leader, only the boss. In such a case, people with a high level of competence do not want to work with him and eventually the boss’s company disappears from history. Therefore, a good leader should be able to get on well with other people, guide them, and establish and maintain good relationships. It is unlikely that the leader, who does not have a level of flexibility and insists on what he says, will remain in the future today, when the competition is high. Therefore, the aforementioned competencies are things that should never be compromised.