Leading Change: Are You Strong Enough Not to Leave Scars? #peopleskills
by Kate Nasser |
Leading Change: Inner Strength Sustains Everyone
When leaders weaken inside, their attempts to lead change falter. The weakness can leave teams with scars that impede the very success the changes were supposed to foster.
Leaders, Are You Strong Enough NOT to Leave Scars?
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Leading Change: Inner Strength Ushers in Success
In 25+ years of working with leaders, I have seen a broad range of their results in leading change. I’ve seen the great, the good, the bad, and the unfortunate. One constant emerged: Leaders with inner strength that equaled the vision, ushered in success without leaving deep scars. How and why does this work?
They balance purpose with empathy.
These leaders lead change with commitment to the change and with respect for the people that must make it happen. They avoid inflicting deep scars by not weakening and tipping to one side or the other.
When leaders focus only on the purpose they lose the people. When they focus only on the people’s feelings, they can lose momentum toward the purpose. Where is your balance between purpose and empathy? Are you strong enough to balance and not leave scars?
They balance confidence and humility.
Picture bombastic leaders leading change. What’s your gut response to this picture? Can you imagine yourself saying: They’re so full of hot air, maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll blow away? Over confidence and lack of humility leave scars through the absence of connection.
Humility balanced with self-confidence draws people in. This balance energizes others with care instead of repelling them like an exploding gas pipe.
Similarly, leaders’ lack of confidence and commitment leaves everyone scarred through abandonment. Do you have the inner strength to balance self-confidence and humility? It is the sustaining force that both leads and feeds during tough times of change.
They know and manage their own disappointment and demons.
Mid-level leaders and team leads who must lead change they don’t like, are at the greatest risk of leaving deep team scars that impede success. In acting out their resistance, they use the team to protest the change. Yet this self-indulgent weakness has little power to block the change and damages morale, the teams, the respect the teams have for those leaders.
Successful leaders don’t use the teams to resist the change. They work through their own disappointment with inner strength and commit to helping the teams thrive in change.
They are optimistic realists.
Leading change takes both optimism and realism. Leaders who lead change well are hopeful and believe in possibilities. They are also realistic not dreamy-eyed. They have the inner strength to take risks and possess the discipline to work through all the challenges.
This balance of optimism and realism prevents the scars that come from wishful thinking, foolish fantasy, and avoidance of the truth. Inner strength to maintain this balance is key to leading change without leaving scars.
They are strong enough to overcome the comfort of habit.
The comfort of habit is a powerful force that impedes change and success. Repetition and habit create high levels of expertise that feel good. Change temporarily reduces the comfort of high performance as teams face new demands under pressure. People fear this dip in performance. It doesn’t feel good. It cuts at their personal identity.
Leaders who understand this effect of change explain this dip as normal and inspire the learning of new skills. They make it OK to change.
This takes inner strength. Dips in organizational performance are scary for leaders too. Strong leaders garner additional resources to minimize the dip. They also engage the teams in learning and thus lead change without inflicting the scars of unrealistic expectations and perfectionism.
- What would you add to this list for leading change? In the comments section below, please share the successes you’ve had.
Leading Change: What challenges are you having? I’m ready to help you.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.