“I am not sure I like all this change that is going on around the business,” said the Vice President of a local bank. “I like it just the way we always do things.” (The bank has been stagnate for two years without any growth) “We need to change some things around here at the bank,” says the President of the bank. What do we do? Stay the same or change? Someone will not like it no matter what you do!
Whether you like it the same or not, there is a need for change. Things will change with or without you!! As a leader, change begins with you. Asking others to change without you changing makes no sense at all. If a leader is to lead change, it must start with the leader. Modeling may be the most important leadership trait in affecting change in the organization. Remember it begins with you. The key to success is about how you approach change both personally and professionally (your work).
Without change in our lives, we face decay. As leaders, to grow we must look for maturities, selflessness, and courage. The opposite of decay is growth. Your personal growth is a key to stopping decay in your life. Your growth needs to align with the day in which you live. You need to know your current environment and make alignments.
Change can be scary, but it is important to move from scary to faith. Life is full of taking next steps without knowing where your foot will land. Change is challenging and difficult. Moving from decay to growth will take training, new direction, daring, and a lot inspiration.
Think with me for a few minutes. Imagine that you have received a call from the government and they want you to head up an expedition to discover a cure for cancer. You will need to stop at three different places around the world to pick up clues to get you to the right location to find the cure. The government will give you all the resources you need to succeed. They even have a map for you to use. You assemble your team and begin your journey. You look at the map, and it is the map that earlier explorers used to discover America!! We are trying to use our old ways to discover new worlds. This just does not work.
Change is to discover new worlds using new maps. Change is a process. Just as maps are continuously updated, our change occurs by taking the next step. Change is hard, but not changing will be much harder.
There are two approaches to change: go along for the ride or be involved in the change and be a part of the shaping of that change. The choice is yours.
What can we do to help overcoming obstacles to change?
- Centering on your efforts. (Focus)
- Develop your view of the present. (Evaluate)
- Develop a reflective position. (Think)
- Be persistent and have faith. (Tenacious)
- Have someone walk with you in this change journey. (Partnerships)
I have not spoken much in this article about organizational change, but leaders should synergize their personal change to organizational change. On the Bloomberg BusinessWeek page there is a blog, The Management Blog by Phil Buckley, and it states the following:
“Five key questions are helpful in determining the likelihood that a major change will succeed or fail: How is the vision different, better and more compelling? Are the leaders personally committed to the change? Does the organization have the capacity to make the change? How ingrained is the current culture? And will the change actually deliver the identified outcomes?”
These are some great questions. Notice the second one: Are the leaders personally committed to the change?” The premise of my article is, if a leader is not willing to change his or herself, growth stops and decay will continue for the leader and the organization.
“People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.” (Peter Senge)
“I’ll go anywhere as long as it is forward.” (David Livingston)
“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Bloomberg Business Week web page: The Management Blog, Phil Buckley, May 2013
Deep Change, Robert Quinn
“The Strategic Importance of Change Leaders Modeling Change”, Linda and Dean Anderson