How to deal with change? How do leaders deal with change? What to do when the landscape around you changes?
I met with Francis Wade -Change Management Specialist – for coffee a few weeks ago and we chatted about leadership (among many other things.) We were thinking about how leaders deal with changes in the business environment and what happens to them when they don’t. The conversation was interesting and we shared and built on each other’s points of view. I hope that you can find some of the tidbits from our chat useful when changes are happening in your organization.
1) Be aware – Corporate environments are very dynamic, full of intrigue and can be regular soap operas. The game is always changing. You may say that you are not a player but the fact that you are in the game makes you a player. You may choose not to participate, just be prepared to live with the consequences. Get in the game, roll the dice or someone will play the game for you.
2) Make alliances – There are people who can help you to navigate and understand the changes in the organization. They are not going to reach out to you (unless they need help). Reach out to them. Get the support from the people who can help. They may by lateral or upwards
3) Public Relations – Decide what kind of leader you want to be seen as and fake it until you make it. When the tides are changing assume the leadership role that you want and walk the talk. You determine how people see you. Decide today how you want to be seen and do the things that tell people – this is the kind of leader that I am.
4) It’s bigger than you – Do not take the change personally. There is no vendetta; no one is out to get you. It’s business. If you are seen as unfit to lead in the new scenario, then you will be sidelined. When we get personal, the picture shrinks and we cannot see what is going on. If you think it’s about you step back – look at the big picture.
5) Start something – Do something extraordinary in the organization. Is there something that everyone says is a good idea that never got done? – Champion it. Bring in a guest speaker, have an open house – do something that gets you positive notice from the people at the top.
6) Self-assess – Above all be honest with yourself. Are you managing the change well? Are you feeling lost? Do you feel that this thing is slipping away? All good recovery programs start with admitting that you are not in control. Once you admit that you have a problem the solutions come.
7) Get a Certified Coach– If you need a neutral, confidential person who will help you to stay on top of your game in the times of change then get a Certified Coach. A coach will create a safe space where you are assured of confidentiality. Your coach will help you to reframe your world and develop strategies to manage the changing environment.
What do you think of the comments? I love number 7 since I am a certified Coach and I have seen people regain clarity and confidence when the sands are shifting below them. If you want to know more then drop me a line.