5 Behaviours for Awesome Change Leaders
I often get asked something along the lines of “What can I do to inspire my team to make this project a success?” I’ve seen some good transformations and some...well…less than transformational changes in my consulting career. Let me share with 5 things I’ve seen awesome leaders do.
Work on Themselves – Eating right, sleeping well, exercise and taking care of your inner state are critical for managing the stress that comes with BIG change. One executive I worked with was in good shape, went to the gym regularly and slept reasonably well but she was under a lot of pressure and frequently “lost it” with her team, being short with people, not making critical decisions and being distracted during important discussions. I suggested she start practicing some meditation, breathe and mindfulness exercises. Not only did these help her to relax in the moment, but over time they built change resilience and the ability to calmly move forward.
Embody the Change – Awesome leaders are the change. They embody what it means to operate in the future state at the level that is appropriate for their role. By serving as examples for their direct reports and others, they demonstrate that change is not something “done” to others, but a fundamental part of the new status quo. Don’t be afraid to let people know that this is uncomfortable for you too. A little vulnerability like that goes a long way to build trusted relationships, humility and connectedness with the rest of the organization.
Out Front – Not only do these leaders embody the change, they make sure everybody see’s it and that they are actively building the capacity to transform within their organizations. Everybody accepts the new way of doing things differently, but like a marathon, there is always someone setting the pace and awesome leaders set the pace of change in the organization. Not too fast, not too slow, just enough to improve everybody else’s time.
Self-Awareness – All eyes are on you. What you say and how you say it are critical to gaining buy-in and support for the initiative. It is not only in the “saying” but in the listening. How well are you listening?
Empowerment – Awesome leaders know that “it takes a village” to make the shift. Successful transformations involve everyone and give them a collective stake in the success of the initiative. These leaders seek out the champions as early adopters and make intentional connections with the detractors.
So there you have it, the 5 Behaviours of Awesome Change Leaders. I hope you found it helpful.