Change is loaded with uncertainty and can get messy if not handled correctly. Cautious behaviours, high strung emotions and wobbly expectations create an unstable pot for progress. Double-minded leaders guiding doubtful team members causes blindness to the various traps that will drag you back to the level you wanted to leave. Four traps in specific are common to change agents and will prevent your path to progress. These four traps are:
Leadership is a demanding role, and even more so when it comes to guiding change. As a leader you automatically step in to the role: Custodian of Change. A leader has the unenviable job of juggling two main elements – Activities for Change and Engagement of Team Members. This is no easy thing as these tasks are on opposite ends of the skills range. A Leader requires a set of unique skills, abilities and traits, and even more so when it comes to managing change.
Listed here are traits that are extremely useful when dealing with Change within the team or organisation:
Change is inevitable, but progress isn’t guaranteed! Industry, technology and information changes continuously, but this is no guarantee that your team will progress as a result of the change. Successful change needs to be deliberate and managed in order for the team to gain the full benefits. All change will require the leader to observe, guide and manage team knowledge and behaviour. Managing change is the reason leaders exist!
“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly at first.” Many teams use this quote as a mantra, launching their efforts in a bid to get momentum for their cause. It is true that it is easier to steer a car while it is moving. A stationary vehicle is both impossible to turn and difficult to get rolling. There are a lot of advantages for the team or organisation to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, as changing direction later is common, possible and if managed correctly – powerful.
As every successful athlete knows, as every great salesman has experienced – there is a fine line between failure and success. The difference between a failure and a successful task balances uneasily on the golden pivot of timing! As in sports or in sales – when to lead is as important as how or where.
Timing carries with it the potential of four possible outcomes:
It will come as no surprise to someone climbing the Leadership Ladder that leaders have to sacrifice in order to succeed! The glamorous image people have of leadership hides the fact that leaders are called to give up more than anyone else in order to stay up the ladder as a leader. The higher you climb as a leader, the greater the sacrifice you will be called to make. Leadership is marked by true living sacrifices.
New and budding leaders often falter when they discover the types of sacrifices they need to make and their growth path changes from one of leadership to one of dictatorship. Here is a brief list of sacrifices a leader will be called to make on their path to success:
It is safe to say that being busy does not mean you are productive. It must also be said that leaders never reach a point where they do not have to prioritise their activities. A diary full of activity doesn’t guarantee accomplishments. In fact, the higher you climb up the successful leader ladder, the more important successful prioritising becomes.
Pareto’s 80/20 Principle suggests that 20% of your effort will produce 80% of your rewards. There is a big “BUT” attached to that principle – but you must select worthwhile activities that will bring reward.
So, how do you, as a leader, select the “better” activities to get more bangs for your sweat? By utilising the 3 R’s of Priority of course. The 3 R’s of Priority are three questions the leader can ask to determine if an activity is really worth the effort:
Like a strong man in a Truck Pulling Contest – Leadership is hard to get started! The strong man leans into the braces with his full weight, taking small, but strong steps to just get the truck rolling. Once it starts to move, keeping the truck rolling is a lot simpler. It the same way, starting your team off will take all the strength you have, but will get easier as you roll along.
Relentless dedication to winning separates the successful leader from the crowd. Whether success is correcting a social wrong like Ghandi, or cornering a segment of the I.T. Market to earn millions like Bill Gates, you commitment must be energetic, unforgiving and never-ending until victory is in the bag!
Great leaders all have this in common: They are unwilling to accept anything less than pure VICTORY! The alternative to winning is totally unacceptable and foreign to them, driving them to find the path to success