Leadership and change - understand the real secrets

Leadership and change – understand the real secrets

In business, most of us have been cautioned at some point that, “If you’re not moving forwards you’re actually going backwards.” In essence, this cuts to the core of why change is so essential to a positive and healthy business.

Change is the central element of growth and it requires vision, a driving team and a tight context to be delivered positively. It is the domain of leaders.

On the other hand, consistency, which may apply to product, quality, profit or even to some degree organic growth, is a different objective. It is the domain of managers.

Considering these two side by side, it is not hard to see why consistency and change (indeed managers and leaders) are often challenging to tie together.

The #1 secret for achieving change

The #1 secret for achieving change is that there is no secret for achieving change. Indeed, achieving change in itself is quite easy, as our political leaders show us time after time.

The real challenge is achieving change that is both positive and sustainable. Taking steps to ensure this occurs is the art of great leadership.

Ask the tough questions

I sometimes wonder whether it is harder to know where you are really starting from or where you are specifically trying to get. Pull on your thickest skin, get someone else to identify and ask the questions that need to be asked and don’t let your ego rob you of the truthful introspection that should follow.

It may make the difference between your success and failure. It may also be the difference between business success and failure.

“Feel” and accept the true reasons for change

Identifying the specifics for your ‘change vision’ and also the specifics of your ‘deep and heart-centered’ reason for change is tough. If there is a key requirement (you just said there isn’t a secret) for achieving positive and sustainable change, this is it.

Recognise the types of people you need to drive your change vision. Take some time to identify specifically who they might be and then what it is about your vision that might move them.

Develop a simple plan for leadership and change

From here on, the key elements of your success are sticking to what works, keeping it simple and continuing to fuel the passion that binds your driving team to your vision.

Try to involve your driving team in this process of identifying the repeatable tasks that will achieve your objective and the resources available / needed.

Next you will need to identify the finite list of potential blockers and develop contingency plans to achieve positive and sustainable outcomes. Keeping on track and achieving positive and sustainable change is a 99% leadership and 1% management mixture of fuel, context and accountability.

Take a deep breath and be prepared to be human, to concede error and to be open to change yourself.

You will be respected and followed as a leader in a far more powerful manner when you have the courage to do these things.

This article is an excerpt from Stuart Hayes’ article in “My Business Magazine”.

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