Saturday, February 20, 2010

How to Make Change

I was reading Deb Evans' Blog, and when I read this sentence “I plan to be a strong leader and dig much deeper into the how I plan to lead.”, I thought how that statement would strike fear into some people. That statement would elicit a ‘great what do I need to do now’ out of some. Others would start whining about what changes would come.
Employees hate change. Most times after a staff meeting where changes are announced, water cooler talk and closeted conversations are full of negativity and bitching. This turn of events always makes me a bit crazy. Announcements of change usually excite me.
I love being able to look my job in a different way. New challenges! Change keeps us from becoming stale. Change prevents burnout. Change keeps us learning.
As a leader how do you present change? Do you dictate and mandate?
As a leader, announcing change by saying “we are going to work harder”, “we are going to do things differently” is a BIG no-no. Your employees hear “You are going to work harder” “You have to change things up”. Employees know that by saying ‘WE” – you mean them and that you, the leader has no intention of changing.
Change must be announced with enthusiasm. Change must be announced, by letting the people you lead know YOU as the leader intend to change, even if you are excited about announcing mandates from the parking lot instead of your corner office. Your people need to know what YOU are going to do. You must lead by example. If you want your team to dig deeper, you must dig deeper. Lead by example. Be positive. Open your door to your employees, acknowledge challenges. And most importantly, before asking your people if they are willing to follow you, tell them where you are leading them.

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