Leaders: Leading Change Requires Networking Our Inspiration

Volumes are written on leaders’ key steps to leading change. When we list out all the steps, one blatant truth emerges from the fray:

Leading Change Requires Networking Our Inspiration

Leaders, Network Our Inspiration to Lead Change



This statement might bring to mind lots of communication about the change, the reasons why, what’s in it for everyone, and the list goes on.

Are you inspired?
Yeh right. No one else will be either. Admittedly communication is critical to leading change. Yet communication is NOT the same as networking our inspiration.

Networking those we lead includes:

  • Starting with mutual respect
  • Earning trust through the heart not just the head
  • Engaging their talents and their spirit thus
  • Building their change-ability to prepare for major shifts



Networking inspiration must start early — the day we become leaders.


Highly directive leaders who rarely engage their teams seem fake when suddenly networking inspiration to spur a major change. People don’t like being changed.

Weak leaders who focus mostly on being liked also struggle with leading change. They have built personal connections based on neediness and their fear is palpable. There is little for others to trust in order to overcome the comfort of the status quo.

We can effectively lead change when we have healthy inter-dependent connections to the team members as well as to the mission of the organization. This healthy balance of head and heart is the inspiration!

The strength of a balanced leader absorbs employees’ fear allowing them to travel new roads unfettered by doubt.



Earning Trust With the Heart & Head
Long before major changes inch onto the horizon, team members are looking to see how we handle difficult situations. Some may be very mission related while still others will relate to team dynamics and morale.

Showing them our clear heads in a crisis is a start. Developing their clear heads for change through coaching and empowerment is networking our inspiration!

Reviewing data with them before a decision develops valuable critical thinking. Using our intuition and tapping theirs builds their change-ability!

    Consider that change involves dealing with the unknown. Invoking intuition gives everyone practice in grappling with grey areas and moving ahead with less than a full picture. With this practice, we network our inspiration and develop their change-ability long before a major change appears.

When we handle individual performance issues, we act appropriately. When we also address team morale issues resulting from performance problems, we celebrate the value of morale in leading change. “Work it our yourselves” is abdication of our inspirational role. “Let’s work this out and create a model for maintaining great morale”, networks our inspiration!

We lead change with inspiration; we succeed when we network the inspiration and build change-ability along the way.




Question: Why do many leaders avoid the inspirational approach when it is so critical to leading change?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™


This article was inspired by a Leadfromwithin professional development chat on Twitter founded and facilitated by executive coach Lolly Daskal. Thanks Lolly!

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please first email info@katenasser.com for terms of use. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Related Posts:
Leaders, Engage Employees Change-Ability Through Entrepreneurial Spirit
Leaders, Develop Your Intuition


Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on employee engagement, leading change, teamwork, and customer service & experience. Kate turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

16 Responses to “Leaders: Leading Change Requires Networking Our Inspiration”

  1. Lolly Daskal says:

    Kate,
    What an inspirational post.

    Interesting statement: “The strength of a balanced leader absorbs employees’ fear allowing them to travel new roads unfettered by doubt.” (love this) I would say balanced and heart based leaders alike.

    When I talk about “change” I connect it being transformational – I like your take on “change” when you call it inspirational.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and soul with us! See you on #leadfromwithin

    Lolly Daskal
    Lead From Within

  2. Jon Mertz says:

    A great and important point, Kate, in that we should not abdicate our inspirational role in leading. We cannot let the processes or structures weigh us down in such a way that it extinguishes our spark of inspiration that empowers us and others. A vital reminder… Thank you. Jon

  3. Noah Lomax says:

    Kate, I am amazed how different the statements “you work it out” and “let’s work it out” can make one feel. One is abandonment; the other empowerment. Knowing that I’m not going through the trenches alone, but with someone who is committed to mutual success, is inspiring!

  4. Khalid says:

    Kate,

    I wish you were my boss :) very sensational post!

    I loved the expression of networking for inspiration and yes I first thought you were talking about the communication of clear roles and what’s in it for everyone but you amazed me once more!

    I see this picture you depicted in my head is far from reality when it comes to my work place. I remember few years ago when my company went into merger with another and they had to merge both IT departments. Our management used a letter that sent to all of us 1 hour before end of the last day of the week telling everyone about his new reporting channel in the new IT structure! That lead into caious that moment and left furious employees with no chance to complain at that moment! Many went into years of detachment from work! This is way far from your networking for inspiration! None of the existing employee trust our management since then! In fact we might have another reorganization soon and everyone is frustrated because none has the picture on what’s going to happen and all knows that it wil be another hit and run mess!

    Thanks Kate for your inspiration :)

    Regards,
    Khalid

  5. Kate – I loved your descriptions of how different leadership styles impact a the ability of leaders to start early in leading change. Beginning the day we become leaders is a great statement. When I work with leaders, I often talk about a trust savings account. Being transparent/timely on many little things allows a little bit more space on bigger things to earn/ask for some grace when things are not communicated/executed perfectly.

    By the way – the picture of the fish jumping to the larger bowl is perfect for this post. Thanks for sharing.
    Scott Patchin

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks very much Scott. Grateful for your collegial kudos on this post.

      I have coached so many leaders that tried the inspirational route with a late start.

      The early networking start builds the change-ability and trust — the two keys to early integration of change.

      Hope you will connect into this blog often and offer your expertise.

      Kindest regards,
      Kate

  6. As always, a great post, Kate. What I hear in your wise words is, I think, well beyond easy concepts of “employee engagement.” The leader has built such a deep foundation of trust and human equality that when the disruption comes people naturally move to contribute according to their desires and capabilities, working toward the new “order” that is part of a shared but unknown future. The conflicts that inevitably come with major change are converted through real openness to all reactions — including joy, disappointment, and anger — into unexpected synergies. In such a movement, each person can be a leader, stepping up to “take responsibility for what you love,” as my friend, Peggy Holman says in her recent book, “Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity.” In her book, Peggy discusses the leader/facilitator’s role as one of embracing mystery, choosing possibility, and following life energy. This is a bit of jargon, I’m afraid, but what I love in these terms is the complete divorce from control and hierarchy in order to welcome the real work together, and to trust, really trust that people by their very natures (including all their various forms of intelligence and all of their real emotions) will help find the opportunity in the chaos. This seed of trusting life itself is to me the core of inspiration — for yourself and others. It doesn’t mean that everything will always turn out perfectly, or even well. But it does mean that if we allow ourselves to trust, taking the risk to open up and loosen up, we can tap unknown powers, do more than we think we can, and facilitate that same creative spark in the hearts of others. Looking back, the team says, “we did it together” and feels proud. And everyone experiences the beauty and power of the group in an almost magical way.

  7. What a thoughtful, inspirational post. Not only for identified leaders, also for those who may not think of themselves as leaders. For example, caregivers are often called to lead yet may not think of themselves as leaders. Helping someone cope with a chronic or terminal illness often requires leadership skills. Your points about networking inspiration is spot-on!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Now I am inspired! Love your extension of this post to the care givers of this world. Leadership is not a title. It is a chosen act of giving your strengths, talents, and insights for the benefit of others.

      My deepest thanks for expanding my view,
      Kate

  8. Al Smith says:

    Great post Kate. A lot of leaders don’t know how to Inspire others. They feel they have gotten to the top on their own. Fear and Ego are common in a lot of leaders, especially CEO’s. Removing or at least reducing the ego, helps leaders become “A Part Of” instead of “Apart from” creating a WE mentality as opposed to a ME mentality. I am prejudiced of course (Ha) but I think it all starts with CARE. Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage. CARE for your employees (your people) first and they will follow you anywhere.
    Thanks again for a great post and all you do to “Influence and Inspire Positive Change” (my 2012 mantra)

    Take CARE.

    Al

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Al,
      I do think fear and ego are a part of it — in some more than others. I also believe that many leaders became leaders because of their occupational expertise with never any display of inspirational ability. For them, it takes a new learning experience. Lastly, at the highest level — they are coached into a tunnel vision “hit the target” view of P/L.

      Many realize that inspiration is the pathway to it and alas others don’t.

      So pleased you contributed your perspective to this post. I hope you will visit Smart SenseAbilities(tm) many times and offer your insights.

      Warmest wishes and thanks,
      Kate

  9. Lewis says:

    Hi Kate,
    A very nice post indeed. Liked how you said “We lead change with inspiration; we succeed when we network the inspiration and build change-ability along the way.”

    I was reading a very interesting article on a similar “Change Management” topic. The author “Kumar Parakala” is an accomplished personnel. He is presently the COO of KPMG and also a leadership enthusiast. Thought you and your readers might find it interesting too. Here is the link http://www.kumarparakala.com/leader-change-driver/ Let me know how you do you like his views.

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