At the pace that work is changing, the face of leadership needs to change too. Similar to our previous blog about the importance of leadership development, it takes a great leader to drive the focus and readiness for change. However, leadership development efforts often have no ties to business strategy, making it difficult to sustain organizational goals long term. According to Gallup, over 50% of managers feel disconnected from their responsibilities in their position, which in turn, creates a disconnect between what organizations need from leaders and how we are developing those leaders.
How Leadership has Changed
The previous commanding and controlling image of leadership has now shifted toward a collaborative and connected approach. While these new approaches are commonly known to be true for leaders, very few actually understand how to lead effectively through these changes.
How to Lead Through Change
“The success of a leader is measured by innovation, not simply execution.” It is nearly impossible to grow and develop as an organization if leaders are unable to do the same. Here are some ways to effectively keep up with and lead through the changing business landscape.
#1 Always Expect It
If you get into the habit of assuming your organization will stay at a stable pace, odds are you’ll feel blindsided by change. But change is inevitable. If you’re transparent with your employees about the current state and future goals of the company, it’s likely that everyone will be better prepared to lead the organization forward.
#2 Give Up Control
Centralized management has become a style of the past. Leaders that are too controlling are failing themselves and the organization. This style also limits the growth and development of your own employees and assumes you have little trust in them to make the right decisions. Instead, stay open-minded, ask more questions and take more time to listen.
# 3 Build a Strong Team
When building a strong team, it’s important to really focus on internal talent. Leadership has little to do with the authority you have, but rather the impact you can have on your employees. True leadership is about empowering, prioritizing and motivating people to do the things they didn’t think would be possible. When you advance the well-being of your team, you advance the well-being of the organization.
#4 Understand the Effects
Whether the change you’re facing is positive or negative, leaders must weigh the impacts of the change. Any time change occurs, there will be a change in productivity as people react and adapt to it. Instead of approaching change as a demand such as, “Here’s what’s happening and here’s how you should feel about it,” approach it through the eyes of your employees by stating, “Here’s what’s happening, let’s discuss any questions you might have.”
The leaders of today require much more than just being the boss of people. Collaboration and innovation have become some of the most effective competencies for leaders and are critical drivers of creating a culture that embraces change. Leaders of today must embrace a growth mindset, understand how to lead in times of change and disruption and learn how to attract, engage and retain their top talent. Are you prepared to lead in the changing business landscape?
Are you ready to shape the future of your organization? We are now enrolling for The Leadership Journey; the first cohort will begin in March. For more information and to sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.