Fournier: 3 Mindset Shifts To Becoming an Agile Leader

By Kerrian Fournier

Becoming an agile leader requires being open-minded and completely immersed in the present moment. It’s having an insatiable curiosity, eager to experiment and innovate. It’s also a willingness to self-reflect and look at areas that could use improvement. Above all, it’s having the courage to embrace change and make yourself vulnerable. In doing so, you will inspire your team to do the same.

The first step to creating change is to look within and examine your beliefs. When it comes to agility in leadership, you may be holding yourself back in ways you don’t even realize.

If you’re looking to become more agile, here are three effective techniques:

Let go of thinking in absolutes
Do you fall into the trap of thinking something is good or bad? Right or wrong?

Certainty makes us feel safe, so it’s human nature to want to be 100 percent “sure.” It explains why many people unconsciously find ways to reinforce their beliefs instead of opening their minds to new possibilities.

However, it’s dangerous to tie your sense of safety to a certain way of thinking. In an ever-changing climate, it can be emotionally destabilizing. Some days will be good, some will be bad and others will fall somewhere in the middle. Agility is the only way to get through stressful situations and move past life’s challenges.

Be open to making mistakes
A fear of making mistakes blocks you from reaching your full potential. When you’re afraid to fail, you stop taking risks and challenging yourself.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, studies show there are benefits to deliberately making mistakes.

“Research shows that executives who apply a conventional, systematic approach to solving a pattern recognition problem are often slower to find the solution than those who test their assumptions by knowingly making mistakes,” Harvard Business Review reports.

In other words, don’t be afraid to experiment!

Practice humility
In the context of leadership, there is a great deal of debate surrounding humility. Some see it as a sign of weakness and believe it will damage their credibility. Their mentality sounds like, “If I admit I don’t know the answer, will I be perceived as incompetent?”

Humility goes hand-in-hand with vulnerability – and the ability to task off the mask shows courage. So, contrary to popular belief, humility is a sign of strength. It’s a willingness to embrace the unknown, and being brave enough to go out of your comfort zone. It is only when you enter this space that you can connect and relate to others.

In fluid circumstances, agile leadership allows you to overcome challenges faster. Becoming more agile helps you successfully navigate uncharted territory, handle issues as they arise, and positively deal with change.

Kerrian Fournier is the CEO of  Vybrante Ventures. Its mission is to unlock the highest level of potential and performance in individuals, teams and companies. This article originally appeared at