As 720thinkers, we have found that struggling organizations are all to often burdened with one challenge – their ability to change. Because the leader sets the tone for the organization, we appreciate that more fully understanding how leaders confront change becomes essential.
Here are 7 common threats that are holding leaders and organizations from success and growth.
1. Forgetting that the only constant is change. The leader that buries their head in the sand and hopes that the change will go away is doomed for failure. Whether we like it or not, change is all around us and is constant. Accepting this fact can dramatically impact how now leaders will preform.
2. Knowing there is change and doing nothing about it. Being aware of the change, the leader all too often make the choice to ignore and hope that the change will go away. Jim Rohn is attributed with saying, “Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change.” Leaving change to chance is all too often a death wish. The successful leader is the one that actually anticipates, gets in front and uses the change to their advantage.
3. Reacting not responding to the change. The knee-jerk response is not the best way to deal with change. This is not the time to slash and burn existing products and services. A wonderful mentor once shared with us, “the leader that isn’t prepared for change isn’t following news and trends.” Leaders are much better prepared to deal with the what-if’s in business if they stay current and plan
4. Failing to seek help. No one likes to show their weak points. Even the strongest company can and will need help at some point. Unfortunately, hubris does get in the way. According to Brene Brown, PhD and author of Daring Greatly, offers a powerful new vision, ” embrace vulnerability and imperfection, live wholeheartedly and courageously engage our lives.” There is no shame in vulnerability, in fact, Dr. Brown indicates that actively seeking help is one of the core elements in successful leadership.
5. Keeping the change a secret from the troops. Dealing with change is not a solo sport. It takes teamwork to pull off even the smallest incremental change. This is not the time for smoke and mirrors. There’s already enough confusion, this is the time to be transparency and to make every stakeholder aware with constant updates on the change initiative.
6. Failing to monitor and adjust. Change is a process not an event. We can’t say that enough. When companies and people are in flux, there is nothing more destabilizing than trying to stay a new rigid course. Trying to act of if these changes are new constants will only foster more instability and is another sure way to kill the change. New progress on targets and objects must be continually measured and evaluated for effectiveness.
7. Failing to celebrate small changes along the way. Monitoring is great but useless if people, including the executive team, are not making the change process an opportunity to acknowledge the little changes that are supporting the BIG initiative. This is not the time to take people and their contributions for granted. Touching base weekly with a simple, “Thank you” goes a long way. Gathering people together with a milestone celebration as often as possible can really help them to stay focused and inspired to stay on track.