When you decide to change what happens to ongoing relationships?
As you move forward with your plans for change and personal growth, there is bound to be changes in your closest relationships. Your personal changes may be threatening to a partner who is insecure with change. You may find yourself facing resistance from unusual places saying in essence, “Change back! You can’t grow because I don’t want you to!”
If this happens, you have to decide what is best to do. You may choose to revert to your old self and abandon your plan.
You may be faced with very difficult decisions; the situation may because too tough, you may choose to leave the relationship or choose to take the risk of change and look to help your partner change.
Of course, it won’t be helpful to push them into change. If you are to take them with you the change has to be seen to be worth the effort. The change has to be desirable hence you need to sell your vision of the future and the benefits that could be possible.
Be patient and persistent, and try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Demonstrate self-respect and respect for others as well; no one is an island the changes in your life will ripple into everyone around you. If real caring and intimacy exist in your relationship, almost any change can be worked out, and will eventually be another reaffirmation of your love and commitment to each other.
Change is one of the hardest things to achieve in a business, but many will try without understanding that change for most employees is also extremely hard and not to mention stressful. Before you start down the change for improvement route there are some things to consider: As the owner / CEO it is your role to create the vision of outcomes and lead from the front. I like to think of this leadership style as the “know your team are with you without looking behind to see.” If you have to continually check to be sure they are with you, they obviously haven’t got either their hearts or their minds on board. As the change leader and not just the change manager, your role is to-
- Set the vision and sell it.Let everyone know where you want to get to. Part of the journey may well be creating the road map. Have clarity of purpose – change is difficult enough and it should have solid reasons. If you cannot articulate the reasons then your objectives will not be clear.
- Explain how you see the impacton the people and not just the business. Employees, even senior ones will be encouraged when they hear, “The whole team will thrive as we create this new chapter in our company’s growth”, versus “we need to change and improve what we do to be more competitive”.
- Be confident.Don’t waver at those who say “I don’t want change”. Be ready for different ways you will hear this, it can come in many different forms. Sometimes you will see defensive measures where they will find a place to hide, others will go on the attack to ensure the change will not impact them and only impact others — these behaviors can come from managers as well as the general employee group.
- Stay calm in the confusion. If you are truly a change leader you are likely to frighten some of the team because you expect some failure. They will hate this so you need to be calm and considerate if and when failure occurs.
- Be open to discussion, and think about ways employee’s ideas can be integrated providing the vision is not destroyed. Allow discussion as it will help alleviate the anxiety that change conjures up in people. They must be guided through the process.
So are you a change leader as described above? Or are you a change manager?
The change manager’s primary role is to drive the vision while using the appropriate tools to keep the change train on the tracks
With global enterprises and entrepreneurial behaviour, hierarchy does not and cannot suffice. Being part of a supportive community becomes the basis for repeated, mutually beneficial transactions. Collaboration becomes the underlying mode of operating. Contracts are incomplete and often only marginally enforceable through judicial processes. Legal systems and ethical systems are often in conflict. Therefore, to interact effectively and efficiently, individuals must sense that they are part of a community that cares, protects, and ensures legitimate behaviour on the part of others. Trust, caring, agreed-upon standards for performance, and agreed-upon sanctions are the lubricant easing the friction inherent in free exchange. Building a sense of community is a leadership task. Learning to live as part of a community that is dispersed, asynchronous, and diverse is one of the initiatives that shapes character as well as knowledge. Such a community is created and linked by the technology that is evolving.
These four challenges for the future are mutually reinforcing. Scholars and practitioners who attempt to deal with one of the challenges without under- standing the others do so at their own peril. Entrepreneurship creates the technology and is enabled by it. Communities that form across traditional boundaries enable globalization and enable growth through entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs build community by managing networks rather than hierarchies and by reinforcing the community through celebration and reinvestment in other community members’ new ideas. They share the rewards of innovation with customers, suppliers, and other partners in the enterprise in order to assure cooperation.
Over the past few months, I have during my MBA studies; we have deliberated, reflected and observed the leadership journey. I even spoke to my children and asked their opinion on me writing a book on the subject. Obviously, they provided feedback via laughter, not deterred I am still making notes. So far the book will have three sections:
- It’s all about People
- Appreciation – Showing and Giving
- Life without regrets … live it to the fullest
For some that I have talked to this can be a bit of a difference to the management training they have been given. Leadership is very different from where many focus their energies. What if I could write a book to decipher and debunk what it took to get to “the top”? I’ve been gathering research and focusing on is what it takes to make a difference, appreciate those around us and make the most of every day.
Leadership questions for YOU:
- “What do you think of the 3 headings and are there any you would add or change?”
- “Why does it usually take disaster/tragedy for us to truly appreciate each other – what would it take to make it part of your daily routine?”
Remember…YOU do make a difference!
With our insatiable search for unlocking business value, and the desire for leaner, flatter and more responsive organizations means that the ability of organizations to change fast is now a competitive advantage. When combined with the ‘gamification’ and ‘fun’ key components in engaging the modern workforce and our tech-inclination, we can see that traditional methods of delivering change (through top-down directives, long-term policies, workshops, the experts, PowerPoint, the CEO-on-Tour, etc.) are simply not effective. Clearly, the processes to support change within organisations must be faster and flexible, they must be cost-efficient, bottom-up, mobile, easy to deploy, employee-friendly, etc. In other words, these processes must be ‘real-time’.
“Focusing on communication and begin positioning collaboration at the heart of the way you work.”
It is easy to see this happening at a managerial level, in a single business. However, take a step back and consider the following; since change is a prerequisite to survival, the topic should no longer be reserved to the elite/senior leaders. Indeed, to succeed should not be about whether you can afford the premium consultancies, the ‘Big-4’.
No! To survive must be an option for every organization out there, small and large, recognized or not. We need to move from focusing on communication and begin positioning collaboration at the heart of the way you work.
“To win tomorrow, you must disrupt your own internal processes today because if you don’t you’ll be displaced by those who do.”