Unfortunately, many organizations suffer from a lack of leadership. Leadership is both an art and a science. A leader gets others to achieve goals by providing purpose, direction and motivation. The ultimate goal is to lead others to a destination they would not go by themselves.
Rapid changes in technology, an uncertain economy, intense competition, strict regulatory requirements and an increasingly diverse workforce are challenges forcing organizations to adapt quickly to new circumstances. A manager tends to maintain the status quo; whereas, a leader creates and manages change. Unfortunately, many people who were successful in the past do not possess the skills and competencies needed for success today.
These varied factors require strong leadership skills—the ability to lead, not just manage. Famed management consultant and late author Peter Drucker put it bluntly by saying, “Every organization has to prepare for the abandonment of everything it does.” Only through innovation will a company survive in today’s rapidly changing environment. Change in the business world was at one time orderly and incremental. In a routine or a traditional environment, managers do well; however, change is much more dramatic today. Today’s business world demands a leader willing to facilitate change and encourage innovation within his or her company in order to be successful.
How Leaders Make Change Happen
Retired General William Livsey said, “You can assign a person to a leadership position, but no one will ever really be a leader until his appointment is ratified in the hearts and minds of his soldiers.” Leadership is earned. It is not based on titles, position or rank. The business that neglects its people and treats them solely as expendable resources stands to incur the greatest loss.
Your behavior, actions and personal involvement are critical in leading others to change and become more adaptive and innovative. This role cannot be delegated to someone else. Here are some specific actions to consider:
• Read leadership books. Talk about your interest, new awareness and commitment to new ideas to conduct your business.
• Ensure that you make yourself visible in all training courses/programs supporting this new direction. Consider becoming an instructor or teaching a class to the people in your company.
• Encourage the management team to do the same — become role models.
• Avoid sending mixed signals. Evaluate your actions and priorities to insure those actions support the new vision.
• Eliminate barriers and bureaucratic procedures that block the way of progress.
• Get personally involved with improvement projects, teams and task forces.
• Spend time with customers and suppliers, as well as with employees and staff discussing these issues. Make these sessions informal, open and friendly.
• Keep an open mind to new ideas and better ways to do business. Be willing to take a few risks just to get more people engaged and involved.
WHO IS SPEAKING AT YOUR NEXT MEETING?
Keep us in mind if you need a speaker, trainer or facilitator for an upcoming meeting or conference. In addition to Greg, we have several highly capable individuals to provide a wide range of services. Visit our website for a list of Greg’s dynamic keynotes and workshops. Contact Cathy for additional information.
Free Team Building Exercises
Here are a couple of my favorite team building activities and meeting icebreakers you can use to energize your meetings.
Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International