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Traditional Leadership vs. The Four Fits of Dynamic Leadership

           Traditional leadership theories embrace a rigid, rule-based ideology wherein employee behavior can be predicted or such behavior can be controlled.  Although evaluations exist to categorize human behavior to the point where classifications are assigned, human behavior by nature is random, complex, and features an unpredictability that creates change and uncertainty in an organization. Eschewing predictability and adjusting to change agents in an organization, such as employees, creates a more abstract and adaptable style of leadership.

            In the 21st century, external environmental factors contribute to an ever-changing complexity of demands and challenges requiring leaders to quickly assimilate and adapt.  Such external environmental factors may include technological advances, shifting consumer demographics, legal and regulatory changes in a politicized environment, as well as shifting consumer preferences.  Examining the shifting landscape through an abstract frame of thinking provides leaders an ability to quickly sift through hard and soft data. Showing this level of adaptability is equitable to themes of sustainable leadership. 

            The demands of external stakeholders increase pressures on organizations to become more flexible in their operational and human resources operations.  Flexibility is an important trait of sustainability due to the nature that each scenario presented will likely face different outcomes regardless of decisions made.  Lack of flexibility negatively affects the organizational culture by decreased productivity, lower employee morale, and declining revenues.  Leadership must quickly identify tangible and intangible trends to adjust, adapt, and move forward with sound decision-making.  

            The Four Fits of Dynamic Leadership (FFDL) is a philosophy developed to address the challenges of leading others through the external and internal environmental challenges of the 21st century.  The concept of FFDL is borne of the belief that leaders must eschew traditional leadership models in order to develop growth internally and externally. By removing the lines found in traditional leadership matrix models, FFDL encourages growth and development in a holistic fashion.  Movement within a sphere provides more flexibility, eliminates labeling of personality, and creates freedom of movement within the four core concepts.

            The four dynamic areas of the Four Fits include the following: Mental Fit, Emotional Fit, Team Fit, and Personal Power Fit.  These four domains of “fitness” showcases the leader’s ability to continue growth internally, as well as fostering collaborative efforts with employees within the organization.  Movement and direction may occur in a simultaneous fashion, thus leaving the leader free to utilize multiple Fits simultaneously.  For example, in preparation of a new sustainability initiative, leaders may incorporate the Mental and Team Fits as a combination to enhance the mental challenges of implementing a new initiative, as well as utilizing the Team Fit to engage others in embracing the life of the project.

            To expand FFDL, axioms accompanied within each Fit enables leaders to embrace fundamental beliefs regardless of their years of experience or industry knowledge.  Such axioms such as “Understanding the 3 C’s: Clarity, Communication, and Commitment” under the Mental Fit, and “A Dynamic Leader Has a Dynamic Relationship with The Team,” encourages a collective effort to embrace the organizational vision, as well as relate to implicit employee needs.

Dr. Terrence D. Duncan holds a Doctorate of Business Administration and has published several blogs in healthcare, project management, personal motivation, leadership, and self-motivation.  Dr. Duncan published his first book, The Four Fits of Holistic Growth, a personal motivation and self-development book complete with 15 interactive worksheets to assist the reader to think more outside the box and achieve a harmonious balance.  Dr. Duncan’s second book, The Four Fits of Dynamic Leadership explores leadership in the 21st century in addressing challenges in organizational structures involving turnover, emotional intelligence, servant leadership, team-building, and enhancing communication.  Books can be purchased with the option to have each copy personally signed through his website: Books are also available on Amazon and Kindle.

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