Part II in a series
Effective leaders of change must be visionaries. A true visionary can see things not just as they are, but as they could be and should be, and they can compel others to see the vision too. A visionary can articulate the vision to others in such vivid detail that it appears feasible and reasonable to make it a reality. Whether a vision is homegrown or the result of outside forces and factors, it is the leader’s responsibility and imperative to construct a future reality that is realistic yet inspiring. Think of visionaries who were able to compel others with their ideas of what the future could be, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Steve Jobs, or Coco Chanel.
The key to vision work is belief. Not only must the leader believe in what they are “selling” to others, but followers must believe it as well. For others to believe in the vision, they must have buy in. What about the vision impacts and benefits their way of being? How does the vision affect the world as they see it? Some leaders miss the mark by not considering the value, or lack thereof, that the vision as stated has for followers. Effective leaders are in tune with their followers, or they at least listen with empathy so they are informed as to how their vision relates to others. The belief in the vision by followers is integral to the success of change.
The first followers and early adopters are the best assets to the leader when driving change. These team members believe in the vision and in the leader to achieve the vision, so they become champions of change that can echo the vision and help drive change throughout the organization. These key team members can ultimately be more instrumental in the success of the change than the leader themselves. A leader must identify these key players in the organization and bring them on board, leverage their influence in the organization, and listen to them as they relay information back from other members of the organization. Here’s a classic video of the power of the first follower.
The vision must come with a sense of urgency. This sense of urgency can be in the form of a moral imperative, a response to a preordained timeline, or a desire to make an impact in the now as opposed to posterity. Most people respond to intense deadlines with stress and frustration, so urgency must be created positively. This can be achieved through excitement, incentives, and sharing of small quick wins. A leader who is present, excited, enthusiastic, confident, and speaks vividly and often about the vision can generate this sense of urgency that followers will buy into.
Do you need help developing and articulating your vision? Schedule a free introductory call today!
Change is inevitable. It is our responses to change that dictate happiness and success, but governing our personal responses to change may be easier said than done. Many of the factors surrounding change may be outside of our control. Leaders, on the other hand, have a key role and responsibility to lead change in their organizations and teams in a way that sets everyone up for success. Effective leaders are aware that change is difficult and that intentional strategy for leading change is a necessary component of good leadership. This blog series will focus on perspectives and strategies that leaders can adopt to effectively manage change.
Impetus for change can come from external forces. External forces are beyond one’s control and the change must happen regardless of feelings about the change or resistance. Here are a few examples of external forces driving change:
Strategy for Leading Change
Developing a strategy for leading change may look different depending on whether the driver of the change is internal or external. However, it is in a leader’s best interest to leverage models for change management to help facilitate changes in their teams or organization. There is no one-size-fits-all model for change management. Kotter’s 8-step change model is a great model for leading change from internal forces. The ADKAR model is a great addition for creating structure in the implementation of other change models. A savvy leader will use a blend of models or leverage different models under different circumstances.
In this blog series, common strategies among the various change models will be highlighted to help leaders identify areas of improvement and opportunities for increased strategy when leading change.
by Stephanie Haywood
Photo by Freepik
In today's complex and competitive business environment, understanding the pitfalls that can derail even the most promising leaders is of paramount importance. Both new and seasoned leaders can benefit from a clear roadmap to avoid common mistakes that frequently stymie growth and effectiveness. This article, presented by Williams Education Consulting, explores significant areas where leaders often falter, emphasizing the necessity of self-awareness, adaptability, and resilience.
The Pitfall of Uncoachability
One of the most limiting behaviors a leader can exhibit is a reluctance or refusal to accept constructive criticism. The inability to listen and adapt can result in a stagnant career trajectory. This is because leadership is a journey, not a destination, and continual learning is its cornerstone. Openness to feedback from peers, mentors, and team members can reveal new perspectives and drive personal and professional growth.
Inadequate Business Research
Another significant barrier to leadership success is an insufficient grasp of the marketplace, competitors, and even the intricacies of one's own organization. The consequences of inadequate research can be far-reaching, from strategic missteps to uncompetitive products and lackluster marketing initiatives. One effective way to develop and possess strong business acumen is by earning a business degree, which covers essential know-how such as communication, marketing, accounting, and financial management. With the flexibility offered by online courses, acquiring this comprehensive knowledge at your own pace has never been more accessible.
Micromanagement, at its core, signifies a lack of trust and hampers the organic growth of teams and individuals. When business leaders excessively oversee every detail and dictate each step, they inadvertently send a message that they do not have confidence in their team's abilities. This not only diminishes employee morale and creativity but also limits opportunities for team members to develop critical problem-solving skills. Furthermore, by investing time in minutiae, leaders divert their focus from more strategic matters that require their attention, effectively bottlenecking decisions and processes.
Lack of Emotional Intelligence
Many leaders underestimate the importance of emotional intelligence, or EQ, in effective leadership. Leaders who fail to develop their emotional intelligence may find it challenging to form robust relationships within their teams and may be insensitive to the emotional climate around them. This can lead to decreased morale and productivity. Fostering emotional intelligence requires self-reflection, active listening, and a commitment to understanding not just what team members do, but also why they do it.
The Peril of Limited Commitment
A leader's level of commitment directly correlates with their ability to inspire and move a team forward. A lukewarm commitment will become palpable to team members and can undermine even the most well-planned initiatives. True leadership requires a full and sustained commitment to the organization's goals, a clear vision for its future, and a strong desire to achieve success. A highly committed leader acts as the glue that holds a team together, driving it toward a shared objective.
The Challenge of Temperament
Last but certainly not least, a leader's temperament must align with organizational culture and values for leadership to be truly effective. A mismatch in this area can lead to internal strife, a breakdown in teamwork, and a loss of credibility. A leader's temperament should not only align with organizational culture but should also serve to reinforce it, creating a stable environment where employees feel valued, understood, and motivated to perform at their best.
Leadership in the business realm is a complex interplay of skills, traits, and behaviors, each of which can either bolster success or act as a roadblock. Recognizing and proactively addressing these common pitfalls is essential for any leader aiming for long-term success and effectiveness. By maintaining a learning mindset, conducting robust business research, honing emotional intelligence, demonstrating unwavering commitment, and aligning one's temperament with organizational culture, leaders can navigate the complexities of the business landscape more effectively. Implementing these strategies will pave the way for a rewarding leadership career, rich in growth, impact, and achievement.
If your leadership skills are lacking or could use some polish, connect with Williams Education Consulting today to find out more about our leadership and entrepreneur coaching packages.
Understanding personal leadership style is important. However, regardless of preferred leadership style and dominant personality traits, an effective leader knows that they must adapt their leadership style and strategies to meet the needs of their team. A team’s capacity, drive, and culture can determine what type of leadership style is needed from their leader to produce the results needed for success.
Two leadership strategies that a leader may employ are push and pull strategies. These strategies are polar opposites of one another, but each can be very useful if applied in the right context. However, using either of these at the wrong time can frustrate employees or stymie growth and productivity.
Envision a push leadership strategy as a leader positioned behind their team, serving as a springboard that pushes them toward their goal. In this situation, team members have the knowledge and tools to be successful. These team members need motivation and support from their leader and a strong vision. Essentially, the leader acts as a mother bird that pushes the baby birds from the nest, knowing that they can fly. When a leader utilizes the push strategy, they give their team members latitude to express creativity, develop solutions, and find strategic ways to accomplish the vision. This strategy relies on a strong, effectively communicated vision, trust, support, and motivation.
A pull leadership strategy occurs when a leader positions themselves in front of their team and pulls them along. The leader has to pave the way and establish the path for the team to follow. A pull leadership strategy is usually necessary if the vision and goals are unclear, the team or organization is implementing an entirely new process, or the team members do not have the knowledge and skills to be successful independently. A pull leadership strategy should only be temporary! As the leader pulls the team, they should refine the vision, establish processes and systems, equip their team, and cultivate a culture that will promote autonomy in the future. The goal of implementing the pull leadership strategy is to create an environment that will allow transitioning to the push strategy.
If a leader finds themselves constantly feeling the need to implement pull leadership, they should ask themselves the following questions:
An effective leader analyzes situations and can adapt their leadership style and strategies to those situations. If you would like support with situational leadership strategies, schedule a coaching call today!