Having my first baby has been a masterclass in agility. A bold statement, yes, but give me a minute and I’ll prove it.
We’re constantly affirming our clients that they are in fact, not crazy, and work does feel like a never-ending exercise in change management, because it is.
Gone are the days of one-large scale change initiative per year. These days we’re helping leaders navigate iterative, incremental change on a daily basis. And my goodness, sharing our household with a baby for the first time has felt exactly like that.
You see, my husband and I had to learn to flow with the unexpected.
- We’d get ready for a walk… there’d be a blowout.
- We’d put a sensory video on… he only likes Ms. Rachel now.
- Bedtime is from 9pm-9am… well sleep regression says otherwise.
- Yesterday he liked bananas… now it’s apple sauce or nothing.
- And on, and on it goes.
The moment there’s a schedule or any semblance of stability, everything changes.
I was warned by my own mother, MIL, sister’s, and just about every woman on the internet that I’d have to be flexible or motherhood would wipe me out. And while I’m only 6-months in, I’ve already made my mind up that flexibility isn’t enough.
No, navigating life with a new baby requires agility.
The WLH team uses the term ‘agility’ to refer to the act of moving quickly and nimbly through a market that’s constantly shifting. We’ve put a stake in the ground that there are 3 characteristics of change agility required to thrive: balance, speed, and flexibility.
Balance keeps leaders steady on their feet by grounding them with a deep understanding and appreciation for their business, organizational strategy and marketplace dynamics.
As new parents, my husband and I have benefitted with a solid relationship, a family vision, and agreement on a few household deal breakers (I hate doing dishes, he hates folding laundry).
Speed requires leaders to streamline and modify the way they work while retaining high standards for quality so that they may move more efficiently and make decisions, even with imperfect information, in a constantly changing environment.
Does he still like being swaddled? What does that face mean? He’s crawling now?! Baby proof everything! Life with a baby = a life that’s constantly in flux. What worked today may not work tomorrow. We try our best not to let it overwhelm and make quick decisions knowing that everything will be totally different in just a few weeks.
Truly flexible leaders are nimble in the way that they do work both independently and with others; they value collaboration to solve problems, explore ideas, and experiment to advance projects, solutions, and results.
We’re currently in the baby led weaning phase and I can attest that momma has to be flexible. I’m talking about mixing veggies into apple sauce! Talk about exploring and experimenting with what works.
And there you have it. Entering the wild world of parenthood has proven that agility is a highly transferable skillset that helps in any environment marked by constant change.
I’d go so far to say that being agile has not only helped me survive early motherhood… it’s helped me thrive.