One of my favourite pictures of change is that one where the leader says “who wants change?” and everyone puts their hands up. Then the leader asks “who wants to change?” and everyone looks at the floor. Change is hard sometimes hard, especially when we don’t choose it but what if we change our perspective and choose to be a leader of change?
What does that even mean? For me, to be a leader of change means to choose change, to embrace it, to face it. It might not be the easy route but it is one which inspires others and brings a sense of calm and clarity to a situation.
Three tips to lead change
Whether you are a leader of change in your own life, your business, your team or your organisation then there are three elements to consider.
Purpose of the change
Knowing why the change is happening is vital. This is because it helps you understand your reactions, emotions and communicate effectively with those around you. Take some time to reflect on the change ahead of you and what the outcome might be – positive or not. When you are clear on the purpose you can connect it to your own values or those of the business/organisation. Once you know what you are facing you will be better equipped to come up with a plan.
Having people to bounce ideas off, to support you and to collaborate with helps when managing change. If you are a leader of change, aim to remove any boundaries or limiting beliefs, to empower others to make their own changes and to be engaged in any actions which are required. We all buy in to change better when we are engaged don’t we? I would recommend also surrounding yourself with a team of people you trust, even if they have differing views – that way you can see the wider vision and create a solid strategy.
Being a leader of change requires resilience, persistence and a willingness to get uncomfortable. Change requires you to remember a time when you have done something similar, to focus on your strengths and skills that got you through that previous experience. Reflect on a time or experience where you had to face a challenge – what did you do? Who helped you?