By Jane Sunley, Author + Founder of Purple Cubed
Leadership isn’t just about the inspirational and visionary CEO; it’s about everyone.
To the person on the front line, their line manager is the leader, exemplifying what the company is all about. Therefore to have at shot at handling change successfully, organisations must create highly engaged leaders at all levels. The middle management layer is critical – it can form your most active conduit, or it can become your greatest barrier. Imagine a team leader who articulates, transparently and in a supportive, positive way versus one who is full of doubt and scepticism. This is the difference between the 70% of change initiatives that fail (according to Forbes and others) against the 30% that are managed through to success.
People today have begun to work more collaboratively and become less accountable for personal contribution. They are less concerned about being a leader as a position of power and status and more about getting the job done. They therefore want to acquire and utilise strong leadership traits because they want to make a difference and have impact. This is very healthy when it comes to leading and landing change; it emphasises the need to develop leadership capabilities at all levels from the get-go.
What makes a great leader will, of course, vary from organisation to organisation, culture to culture. This is why organisations need to define their core leadership principles, to form a basis for assessment and review and the continuous development. If your organisation is faced with a lot of change (and many are today) you’ll need leaders who are adaptable, forward thinking, can communicate compellingly and with clarity.
Developing leaders is a life-long process and something the leader (or potential leader) should take their own responsibility for. The most important thing is that leaders in the making must have access to this development on the way up – once they’re there it’s too late.
Leaders (at all levels) can positively influence change by:
1. Ensuring they understand the facts and rationale
2. Taking time out to think creatively about options and implications
3. Creating good plans that can flex as needs change
4. Communicating in ways that are simple, easy, clear
5. Providing purpose and meaning so people can contribute
6. Keeping things as safe and secure as possible
7. Accepting that people will have varying capacities and adapt differently
8. Deploying people in optimal ways
9. Influencing behaviours and dealing with fall-out
10. Coaching and nurturing talent throughout
Are your leaders equipped to face a world where the only constant really is change?
Next month we’ll look successful approaches to providing clarity
Purple Cubed is a high-end boutique people consultancy offering expertise and tools for organisations that want to improve business results and growth through harnessing the power of their people.