Change – 3 Essentials For Every Leader

Change - 3 Essentials For Every LeaderThe sustainability of any organization hinges on leadership’s ability to understand, embrace, and implement change. Whenever leaders are surveyed about what keeps them awake at night, “change” is usually at or near the top of the list. When change initiatives fail, so do leaders. When brands fall into decline, and organizations implode, it’s often due to a company’s inability to change. In today’s post, I’ll share three fresh approaches to change.

Try to envision a future without change… it’s nearly impossible to do, isn’t it? A world without change, a world frozen in time, a world stuck in a perpetual state of status quo – it’s certainly uninspired, and for me, it’s altogether unimaginable. While most of us hold a worldview that embraces, if not demands change, this isn’t always the case with business leaders. Sure, most leaders talk about change, but do they really lead it? Talking about innovation is not the same as bringing it to life.

The best evidence of the importance of change leadership is what occurs in its absence– mediocrity, irrelevance, and ultimately, obsolescence. Leaders concerned with the cost of change should be far more concerned about the cost of not changing. The best of human ingenuity and accomplishment are experienced through change. To learn, create, advance, develop, and sustain, we must change. If you accept this premise as true, then my question is this: why do so many businesses struggle with the practice of change? The answer is regrettably obvious– many leaders are simply inept at leading change.

Following are three ideas, which will help you lead change more effectively:

#1: Pull Change Forward

Stop talking about change as a theoretical future state and pull it forward into the present. Change is the path to the future, but the future isn’t some ethereal, distant event – it begins in just a fraction of a second. While all great leaders must navigate the present, they must do so in anticipation of the future. The best leaders understand the present is nothing more than a platform for the envisioning of, and positioning for, the future. If you want to lead more effectively, shorten the distance between the future and present.

#2: Change Is Not a Process – It’s A Mindset

Leading change is far more than a process– it’s a cultural mindset. Change requires leaders to embrace dissenting opinions, give voice to positional differences, and to constantly challenge static thinking. While leading change does require skill, it first requires a decision to value change, and then it demands the courage to act. Leadership isn’t about being right; it’s about achieving the right outcomes. Change must be more than a buzzword used by leadership – it must be embedded within the strategic vision, cultural design, and operating fabric of the enterprise. Leaders who protect the status quo through control must surrender to change in order to secure the future for their organization.

#3: Leadership IS Change

If there are no visible signs of change in your organization, I would suggest your leadership isn’t leading. Change must become a leadership competency and priority. Leaders who fail to deliver change will be replaced by those who can. Leadership is nothing if not fluid, flexible, and forward moving – none of these things can occur without an emphasis on change. In fact, I would go so far as to say “leadership IS change.”

If you’re in a leadership role, it’s in the best interest of the organization, and those you lead, to embrace change at every level.

Thoughts?

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Mike MyattMike Myatt, is a Top CEO Coach, author of “Leadership Matters…The CEO Survival Manual“, and Managing Director of N2Growth.

This entry was posted in Culture & Values, Innovation, Leadership & Infrastructure, People & Skills, Sustainability and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Change – 3 Essentials For Every Leader

  1. Pingback: Good Change Leadership Advice Via Mike Myatt « The Learning Pond

  2. Mim Bizic says:

    Great thoughts, Dru, and well said! Here’s a salute to your Leadership:

    “Opportunity dances with those who are ready on the dance floor.” – H. Jackson Brown

  3. Mim Bizic says:

    I’m sorry Mike. I meant the quote for you!
    Great post and lots of good info. Thanks!

    “Opportunity dances with those who are ready on the dance floor.”
    – H. Jackson Brown

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