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The ‘Adaptable Leader’ is the New Holy Grail — Become One, Hire One

By June 5, 2019January 24th, 2022No Comments

When Anne Dwane became CEO of Zinch, the college matching service, it felt like “diving into a pool needing to figure out how to be a synchronized swimmer.”

“It was a tricky dynamic because there was an existing team,” she says. “I had to insert myself, establish our priorities, and hash out how we were going to operate as a team but there was a lot of missing context.” It was the Olympic Games of adapting to a new job.

Throughout the process, and again when Chegg acquired Zinch in 2011 and Dwane became Chief Business Officer, she learned how to transform herself into a constant learner — the best way to adjust to any new environment or role quickly and effectively.

“Most folks would agree that learning is good,” she says. “The catch is that modern life hones skills — like pattern recognition and selective attention — that are at odds with learning. With hectic personal and professional schedules, we live much of life sensing and responding, only engaging in creative or critical thinking occasionally.”