Friday, March 27, 2015

Is Leadership about Change

Fundamentally leadership is about change and influencing people to change.

The world has changed significantly, and the speed of change is accelerating. Not only has it gotten flatter (globalization), but also it’s gotten hyper-connected (digitalization). This is where leadership must invoke great vision, good tactics and innovation comes into play. Leadership is about the future, the future is full of changes, is leadership all about change as well?

Fundamentally leadership is about change and influencing people to change: Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration, motivated by a passion, generated by a vision, birthed by a conviction of a sense of purpose of why you were created. Leadership is moving you and others...and it is about change and evolving into what is needed next. Three things that are inexorably linked together are change, growth, and learning. It may be human nature to resist change but not for great leaders. Effective leaders have a very high comfort level with change and understand standing still is not an option in today's world. Doing things differently is just part of everyday life for a leader who is always in the midst of change--envisioning it, planning it, or leading it.

You have to define change: If it is an improvement, that's fine. Change is not for its own sake, change is necessary for progress and growth. In reality, there are too many changes introduced by leaders that have no real benefit. A new manager might say 'we'll do it this way now.' Those who have been there years will mutter 'that's the way we used to do it, and the change won't make things better'. Wait a few years and it will be changed again, and still be no better. It's no wonder workers become cynical about leadership initiated change. Hence, change needs to get “buy-in” by those get affected first, it takes both strategy and methodology, and building a culture of change is a necessity for any behavior changes or process changes.

Change management vs. change leadership: There’s the difference between “change management” and “change leadership,” and whether it’s just a matter of semantics, these terms are not interchangeable. The distinction between the two is actually quite significant. Change management, which is the term most everyone uses, refers to a set of basic tools or structures intended to keep any change effort under control. The goal is often to minimize the distractions and impacts of the change. Change leadership, on the other hand, concerns the driving forces, visions, and processes that fuel large-scale transformation. Leadership is all about change management and also the ability to take initiative (change leadership). Leadership is the ability to influence with or without authority. It is the power of example that frees people to do willingly and well that which needs to be done. Strategic responses by the leaders towards change management which restructures business strategy, functional strategy, and operational strategy. Only Change Management would bring these values to the organization, competitive advantage, best standards for the brand they own. Best Practices for the actions they do.

Leadership is about role modeling: While there are many components of leadership, one of the most important ones is the ability to adapt, model and influence change. We live in a world where change is the norm and if we don't embrace it, accept it, roll with it or make it happen, we're not going to be successful. Change capability is a strategic skill in leadership qualities. Change isn't always in our control, but it is amazing how much control we have in adapting to it. So accepting and embracing change has put leaders more at ease because of its consistency. It's also given leaders confidence because you know you are able to positively adapt to any given situation. A true leader will model these attributes and lead the way by example.

So leadership is about change, the purpose of the change is to get an optimal solution or creating a better future. The great leaders inspire the big WHY about change, motivate positive change behaviors, exemplify change leadership, and manage change effectively and holistically.


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