Leading transformational change

By July 18, 2013All

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“IF YOU CAN’T RELATE TO PEOPLE AND HAVE QUALITY CONVERSATIONS WITH THEM, THEN YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LEAD ANYONE ANYWHERE.” Paul Aitken

Why is it so difficult to successfully implement change?

Leading change on a daily basis is essential for any leader. Our political, business and community environments continue to change faster than ever. Rapid change is the new normal. All leaders must get ahead of new trends that affect both their industries, businesses and political environments. The ability to anticipate and actively lead change will depend largely on our ability to change ourselves.

To successfully navigate change, you must also, as a leader, understand your own personal reactions to its transitions and adaptations. Your own actions are viewed as the values you embrace as a leader and inspire action in others.

When change is needed, often times we seek to find change in others before we seek the change in ourselves. Leadership requires us to break old habits, change behaviors, and adjust attitudes within ourselves. Successful transformational leaders can only achieve change by their inner leadership.

Leading yourself through change is essential to leading others through change, and leading change should be a top priority in your own self-discovery. Making it so will help others anticipate and embrace the coming changes that will help your organization and community thrive in an accelerated environment.

If you want to lead change, try doing the following four things:

The first person I must lead is ME

Each one of us must set the example we wish to see in others. Ask yourself-Are you being the agent of change you seek to see in the world? As Gandhi challenged many upcoming leaders years ago, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

In other words, are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Are you a bridge or a wall to others? I believe that the most powerful person you are going to change in your entire life time is going to be yourself. Change cannot begin on a global level.

It must start and work its way from our own internal leadership journey. That journey requires for us to look and seek ways to continuously develop our leadership potential. When we are dedicated and open to change our perceptions and attitudes, we become open to change.

Walk the talk

Developing complete, well rounded leadership – a “walk-the-talk” ability to model the behaviors you want others to follow. Leaders need to know the impact and influence of how they lead or not lead in their work environment. This is very important if you want to drive change on a consistent visual basis with the people you lead. They will look and form opinions based on whether they can trust you. If you want to increase trust in any environment-you must model the way.

People will not follow someone that says one thing and does another. I think this very powerful because people will remember you not so much for you said but how do you consistently live your values and lead through honest leadership.

Relationships and on-going coaching

Leadership is all about relationships and genuine dialogue and the key is making these meaningful and productive. Relational and coaching skills have become the new leader’s toolkit to create positive change around the globe.

How many leaders can facilitate groups to bring out new fresh ideas, to resolve differences and to manage conflict? That skill set is vital for transformational change leaders. Leaders must coach others to help them sustain their own growth and effectiveness in challenging times. The demanding nature of change leadership can lead to enhanced personal growth and development-which can lead to more authentic leadership.

Coaching and mentoring, provided from the change leader, may prove beneficial in increasing the change capability of other leaders and increase their attunement to leadership learning as they grow.

Become a co-creator of a learning culture

Learning and leading change is concerned with why and how we change and facilitating learning among our teams for continuous transformation. This requires leaders to recognize, understand and address what is going on within the whole system in which change leaders operate day to day. Leaders need to be able to dig deeper and understand what behaviors contribute to problematic outcomes their area of operation.

They will have to practice the learner mind-set and ask questions to help them understand better the why and how behind some of the decisions made. In order to achieve real change it is important that leaders are able to identify their own assumptions and mindsets that underpin and feed the system.

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