Working with hundreds of leaders over the last decade has given me amazing insights into how leaders deal or not deal with change. A topic that comes up a lot lately is around why should leaders create future leaders? In my last blog, we looked at ways to ensure you maintain and grow your leadership mojo which will assist in breaking down the obstacles that get in the way to spend time in creating leaders of the future. This isn’t always enough, as we all know, people, including ourselves, need a good why and a compelling reason to change.

Most people in a management position like to be known as a strong and effective leader and always ask me “How do I get there?” or “What do I need to do?” The answer to this is different for everyone, no magic pill or solution, more a coaching discussion around what is working and what needs to change for them as an individual and the team as a whole. This has a flow on effect.

As human beings, for many of us, making a change does not come easily, and there are many reasons for this, such as the fear of rejection, failure and uncertainty. I’ve even heard people say “What if the future leader I am working with takes my job?” Things that you may want to change, such as the way you lead your team or taking on coaching conversations with your team may cause noise within your mind as to what could go wrong? What will happen if I look incompetent? What if it doesn’t work? This noise will continue until you know your “why” for making the change, and this needs to exceed your “why” for not making the change.

For instance, many organisations are becoming more coach centric and for good reasons.  When leaders encourage and lead coaching conversations with their staff, this not only empowers people to think for themselves, it also saves time in managing behaviour, ensures less “surprises” as feedback is ongoing and also creates an open and trusting environment for development. The “why” for this is strong I’m sure you would agree. Conversely, if a leader is not open to focusing on what the change will bring and learning a new skill, then this won’t occur, and maybe conversations with staff will be more “telling” type conversations, which addresses none of the above.

Three points to consider when making a change to lead and create future leaders: 

  • Know your why
  • Why has this idea come up?
  • What are the benefits of addressing this?
  • What will the change look like?
  • What do I want to achieve for myself, the team and organisation?
  • What is pulling you to make the change (this needs to exceed what is holding you, below)What will you see, hear and feel once the change is in place?
  • What won’t you see, feel and hear?
  • What are the key things pulling you towards this change?
  • What energy do you have to make this change?
  • What is holding you not to change? If nothing changes, how will this look?
  • How will you feel if nothing changes?
  • What will it cost you and others not to make this change?
  • What will be the outcome if nothing changes?

When what is pulling you to change has more energy around it, and this exceeds what is holding you not to change, then its’ time to act. Remember, if your energy isn’t directed towards the change reevaluate this and what you need to do to make it happen!