Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Six Features of Effective Change Leadership

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1 An acute self-awareness

- a balanced leader lives at 2 levels: at one level analysing problems and taking action, and at another level, realising that they set an example with their words and actions affecting others' mental maps

2 A complex self-image

- effective leaders, especially those who work in teams or empowering environments, regard themselves as catalysts or facilitators who create an atmosphere in which others can thrive, and they do not use the language or behaviours of power and control

- effective leaders execute their plans only through others

- effective leaders put their own functional expertise on the back burner

3 A healthy view of people

- effective leaders not only see themselves as complex creatures who are not easily pigeon-holed: they view others the same way and do not stereotype people

- effective leaders concentrate more on the strengths than weaknesses of people and thus have a positive attitude to people

- effective leaders like people and treat them as they would like to be treated themselves

4 A comprehensive tool kit of theories and tactics

- effective leaders recognise that they need to learn the conceptual and behavioural tools of leadership, ie leaders are made, not born. On the other hand, most leaders have a strong innate desire to lead

- effective leaders have a thirst for knowledge

- effective leaders use on-the-job learning, and learn to look at things in different ways, especially human interaction

5 A focussed passion for change

- leaders should think globally and act locally

- leaders are good listeners and ask many questions

- leaders focus on important issues, ie 80:20 rule (focus on the important issues that will have the biggest impact)

- leaders praise much more than they criticise

- leaders lead more by deeds than words, ie know how to break old habits and not return to them

- leaders learn to focus on cues, lures and entry conditions for the change, ie stimulus-response chain

- leaders know that timing is important

- leaders don't rely on fear to get people focussed

6 The ability to shake-up things to create a learning environment

- allow people to learn from their mistakes

- create a supportive environment

- encourage innovation and lateral thinking

- encourage the challenging of status quo

(source: Kerry Patterson et al, 1996)

Another way to look at effective change in leadership involves

- awareness (of own and others' strengths and weaknesses)

- behaviour (exemplary, ie 
    i) value-based
    ii) doing the right thing - not necessary the popular thing;
    iii) knowing when to be "hard" or "soft"
    iv) leading by positive example, ie role model
    v) hands on an understanding, not doing or micromanaging)

- providing a purpose (people are willing to share and believe in it, ie
    i) it motivates and persuades others
    ii) passionate
    iii) driven by a course
    iv) ability to clarify the complicated and difficult challenges

- a willingness to change (seeing new opportunities differently)

- attract talent (employee of choice, ie
    i best people want to work with you
    ii) right people in the right position at the right time working with the rights way of working
    iii) encouraging diversity
    iv) discouraging "group thinking"
    v) encouraging challenging the status quo)

- grit (resilience/persistence/consistent, ie
     i) positive attitude in the face of adversity or crisis
    ii) able to handle hard times and failures
    iii) long-term focus

- humility (not "spotlight" chasers, ie
    i) high ambition but small ego
    ii) accept responsibilities/accountability for your actions
    iii) give recognition/praise to those that perform)

- innovative (implementing creativity, ie
    i) encourage creative thinking to develop more suitable alternatives
     ii) explore better ways of doing things)

- opportunistic (when the right situation arises, ready to grasp the opportunity)

- bravery (bold, ie
    i) willing to make unpopular decisions irrespective of consequences)

- luck (timing, ie
  i) working on something when it becomes important and/or popular)

- happiness (like what you are doing)

NB Temperament (able to handle any situation irrespective of how dire)

PS Good leadership is ineffable, ie unable to describe in words but know it when you see it

Questions on leadership

- What makes a great leader?
- Where does leadership start?
- Are leaders born or developed?
- What are the key traits of leaders?

There are 6 elements to help answer the above questions

1. Knowing yourself (understand yourself and your personal values so that you are authentic)

2. Work hard and deliver proven, consistent results

3.  Be loyal to your organisation (you don't need to change organisations to get experience)

4. The power of teams (find the people who have the expertise required; don't jump to snap decisions; listen and learn and take input from others)

5. Global experience (as business is global, the value of understanding different cultures and people is pivotal)

6.  Make yourself future ready (don't rely solely on technical skills, but enhance your people skills; be open to new ideas; focus on networking)

Some important characteristics of leadership include

- chutzpah (courage-with-nothing-to-lose attitude; boldness)

- pragmatism (want to make things happen irrespective of bureaucracy, red tape, obstacles like rules and regulations, etc)

- possessed (move quickly and directly)


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