Unlocking leadership

Closing your Leadership Gap through Apps, Books and Coaching

Five Traits of Nimble Leaders


In a rapidly changing business landscape, nimble leaders are those who can make quick decisions and adapt to change. Reading this post over 5 traits of nimble leaders doesn’t mean being reckless – it’s about being able to make smart decisions quickly, in the face of uncertainty.

So what makes a nimble leader?

Five key nimble leader traits:

1. Change-mindedness. Nimble leaders are always thinking about how things could be done differently – and better. They’re not afraid of change, but see it as an opportunity to improve.

2. Awareness. Nimble leaders are attuned to their surroundings and aware of what’s happening both inside and outside their organization. This allows them to anticipate change and make decisions accordingly.

3. Flexibility. Nimble leaders are flexible in their thinking and actions. They’re open to new ideas and willing to try different approaches.

4. Quick thinking. Nimble leaders are able to make decisions quickly, without getting bogged down in analysis paralysis.

5. Confidence. Nimble leaders trust their instincts and are confident in their decision-making. They know that not every decision will be a home run, but they’re okay with that – because they know that the key is to keep moving forward.

Being nimble isn’t easy – but it’s essential for leaders who want to thrive in today’s ever-changing world. By developing these 5 traits, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a nimble leader yourself.

Some practical ways to begin to develop your leadership in these five ways.


Set goals for yourself and your team that challenge the status quo and encourage out-of-the-box thinking. Be open to new ideas, even (and especially) when they come from unexpected sources.

Nimble leaders create goals and performance measures that recognize and reward nimbleness—for example, discovering a new way to meet regulatory requirements while also encouraging client participation. Nimbleness also is reflected in leaders’ personal goals that specifically seek and encourage change. They “walk the walk,” setting expectations for themselves that reflect what they expect of others.



Make a conscious effort to stay informed about what’s going on both inside and outside your organization. Pay attention to trends, both in your industry and in the world at large.

Some potential resources to be aware of to help keep up on trends would be the following:

-Your local Chamber of Commerce

-The Small Business Administration

-The National Federation of Independent Business

-SCORE, which is a nonprofit association that offers free and confidential business advice to small business owners

-Your state’s department of economic development or governor’s office of small business assistance

-SBDCs or PTACs, which are organizations that offer counseling and training to small businesses

-The U.S. Census Bureau’s statistics website



Be willing to try new things, even if they’re outside your comfort zone. Be open to change, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

How to try new things with your team and promote being a nimble leader.

-Encourage your team to come up with new ideas, and be open to hearing them out – even if they’re outside the scope of what you’re used to.

-Challenge your team to come up with creative solutions to problems.

-Make time for brainstorming sessions where everyone is free to share their ideas.

-Encourage your team to experiment and take risks.

-Reward creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

-Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they’re part of the learning process.


Quick thinking:

Practice making decisions quickly, without overthinking them. Trust your gut, and don’t second-guess yourself.

Some exercises to try to help improve your quick thinking skills.

-Make a list of decisions you need to make, and set a timer for 1 minute. For each decision, make the best choice you can in that time frame, without second-guessing yourself.

-Try setting a goal of making 1 decision per day without overthinking it.

-Set a daily or weekly quota for yourself of how many decisions you need to make. Once you reach that quota, force yourself to stop analyzing and just go with your gut.

-Try making decisions in different areas of your life, not just at work. For example, try choosing what to wear or what to eat based on the first thing that comes to mind.

-Keep a journal of your quick decisions, and review them later to see how well they turned out.



Believe in yourself and your ability to lead. Have faith in your decision-making skills, even when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Here are some ways to build your confidence, have faith in your decision making skills.

-Make a list of your successes, both big and small. Refer to this list when you need a confidence boost.

-Find a mentor or coach who can offer guidance and support.

-Seek out opportunities to practice your decision-making skills.

-Build a network of supportive people who believe in you and your ability to lead.

-Be prepared for mistakes, and learn from them.

-Celebrate your victories, both big and small.

Nimble leaders are those who are able to adapt to change quickly and make decisions confidently. They are aware of what’s going on both inside and outside their organization, and they’re willing to try new things. They have faith in their decision-making skills, even when things don’t go exactly as planned. And finally, they are able to inspire others to follow their lead.


So what good does all of this talk about being a nimble leader do for me?

The answer is simple: If you can be a nimble leader, you can be successful in any area of your life. Whether you’re running a business, leading a team, or simply trying to make the best choices for yourself and your family, being nimble will give you an advantage.


Now what should I do with all of this information?

The first step is to start practicing the 5 traits of nimble leaders. Once you’ve mastered those, you’ll be well on your way to success. You may also find these other post of interest for additional reading on leadership.

5 Easy but forgotten ways to be a better leader

5 Core leadership skills you need to succeed as a leader

On my resource page look into Form Empowering Habits

Leading at the edge of Chaos by Daryl Connor