Is open to change and new information and adapts behavior and work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.  Rapidly adjusts priorities to new situations which warrant attention and resolution. 


Flexibility is an essential competency for individuals in organizations functioning in a rapidly changing environment.  Flexibility is the ability to adapt to and work effectively within dynamic change and flexible leaders see change as an opportunity.  It entails understanding and appreciating different and sometimes opposing perspectives on an issue.  It requires being open to new information and being able to let go of old assumptions which then allows one to adapt how one operates.  It entails keeping alert to changing requirements and being prepared strategically and psychologically to modify one’s own, and the organization’s, approach as the requirements of the situation changes.  Flexibility allows an individual to recognize the anxiety that often accompanies uncertainty, and to react to changing circumstances with creativity by applying new ideas to achieve results.

How do First Appointment Leaders Demonstrate This Competency?

A First Appointment leader must understand how change in internal and external circumstances might affect the group and its work.  They modify plans or processes to accommodate new circumstances and clearly communicate the changing organizational context and its implications.  They must treat each person according to their unique needs instilling a sense of opportunity and possibility in the group’s view of change.  First Appointment Leaders understand and coach others in stress reduction techniques. 

Elements of the Competency and Distinguishing Behaviors


Distinguishing Behaviors

Demonstrates flexibility and openness to change.

  • Establishes team processes and strategies that look beyond traditional boundaries, ideas and approaches.
  • Challenges team members to take a different perspective and see new possibilities.
  • Employs a variety of techniques for exploring different options.
  • Takes responsible and reasonable risks when trying new approaches.

Adapts behavior based on changing priorities and needs.

  • Modifies team plans or processes to accommodate new and changing circumstances.
  • Adjusts priorities, as appropriate, based on the understanding of stakeholder desires.
  • Explores new tactics and does not always use conventional methodology or traditional approaches.
  • Identifies and uses new tools, processes and technologies to enhance service.
  • Enables team/group members to identify potential solutions and initiatives for appropriateness and feasibility.

Seeks new ideas and opinions.

  • Creates a team atmosphere that welcomes and employs new perspectives and ideas.
  • Seeks input from team members.
  • Facilitates creative solutions to team conflict.
  • Seeks out diversity of thought, talent and perspective among team members.
  • Fosters creative, innovative and non-conventional contributions.

Maintains productivity, quality of work, and morale of group in times of change.

  • Communicates organizational and environmental changes.
  • Coaches individual team members to find their niche in new, ambiguous and changing circumstances.
  • Recognizes the impact of stress on individual performance and provides resources to help cope.
  • Clarifies ambiguous information to reduce uncertainty.
  • Provides the team feedback on their contributions to organizational objectives.
  • Encourages the team to be open to opportunities and possibilities regarding change(s).
  • Accepts responsibility for the results of taking risks.

Works effectively within a variety of situations and with diverse individuals and groups.

  • Treats each person fairly, instilling mutual understanding, trust and confidence.
  • Makes accommodations to meet diverse customer needs.
  • Ensures that the perspectives and interests of internal and external stakeholders are heard and understood.
  • Makes and modifies team assignments to take advantage of individual strengths.
  • Gains a broader perspective on issues by working with others.
  • Learns from the accomplishments and best practices of others.

Developmental Activities

There are numerous activities an employee may engage in that provide the opportunity to develop this competency at the First Appointment Leader level.   These activities may include, but are not limited to, on-the-job experience, details, shadow assignments, participating in training as a leader or participant and other life experiences.   These activities provide the opportunity to develop for those dedicated to their individual growth as a leader.  Specific examples of developmental opportunities for this competency include:

Primary Developmental Activities

  • Volunteer or participate in a diverse project team.
  • Serve on a social activities committee.
  • Conduct brainstorming, systems thinking, and other techniques that might offer new perspectives, ideas or solutions.
  • Invest in team training that enables members better to weigh potential solutions and initiatives for appropriateness and feasibility.

Supporting Developmental Activities

Experiential Developmental Details or Assignments

  • Use a personality/behavioral assessment to understand the diversity of the team members.
  • Get a coach/mentor for communications help.
  • Practice more one-on-one interactions with your staff.
  • Learn about different resources on stress management, career development, personal growth, etc.
  • Reflect on whether you are resilient and can bounce back from setbacks.  If not, then what is holding you back?
  • Evaluate the impact of your behaviors on others.


First Appointment Leader Competencies