What’s Happening to Us? | Part 1: An Introduction to a Solution

This is the first entry in a new series of blogs based off the latest Level Five Associates book, “The Power of Being All In.”

Understanding The Need For Adaptive Leadership

Societal unrest is now the order of the day, bordering on chaos in many regions of the world.

There were more armed conflicts in 2023 than in the previous four decades. Political discord has become more extreme, resulting in what many Americans call “polarization.” Gun violence, COVID, and the rise of protests against inequality dominate much of our daily lives.

Our lack of confidence in peace and stability in the world is based on hard evidence.

As recently as October of last year, the Middle East was racked by violence when extremist factions in Gaza brutally attacked Israel in a surprise attack that left over 1,000 dead and hundreds wounded and captured. Russia’s war with Ukraine has now stretched into its third year, leaving much of the Ukraine territory in ruins, with casualties in the hundreds of thousands.

As my good friend and distinguished Soldier retired General Martin Dempsey said in our book interview, “Trust in our institutions has eroded and ideologies have hardened.”

That powerful statement captures much of the landscape we find ourselves living in. Upcoming elections cast a gloomy shadow on this erosion of trust, as voters are increasingly asked to choose one end of the political spectrum or the other, with little or nothing in between.

At the same time, we are struggling with the shadow of the COVID-19 experience, the challenge of establishing true social justice, and the looming specter of gun violence which seems to be a daily occurrence in our lives.

The stakes are high. Our values and our safety are very much at risk.

The workplace is also a reflection of the impacts of a new world order, with social distancing now commonplace and hybrid work environments becoming the norm in many companies and organizations. Less direct human interaction has damaged our social learning skills, and we know very little about what the long-term effects of this decline will be.

In short, what we considered to be “normal” now isn’t, and we have to adapt to our new environment. The implications on leadership are profound. We must become much more aware of the impacts of change on our culture, and how to succeed through them.

Adaptive leadership is the skill set of taking leadership principles and applying them to the world that we’re in now, not the world that we used to be in. Leaders that have been successful in emerging from the storm of the past few years did so by applying leadership principles in ways that met the moment. In other words: they adapted.

In upcoming posts, the plan is to explore key aspects of the world we’re in now, and how to be effective in influencing others in a positive way despite all of the daunting challenges we face — through practicing adaptive leadership and nurturing a culture of commitment.

Get ready, and enjoy the journey!

This blog post is based off the book, “The Power of Being All In.” You can get a copy of the first chapter for free at this link. If you’d like to buy the entire book, it is available on Amazon.







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