Category Archives:

leadership

3 Words to Guide My Actions and Behaviours in 2015

The holidays is a perfect time to plan for the new year. I spent mine thinking of the three words that will guide my actions and behaviours to achieve my goals and live the life I want to lead.

An assessment of my use of last year’s words (Purposeful, Groundbreaking and Global) helped make my selection—when I used them well, when I didn’t and when I forgot them altogether

This year, I have vowed to use them for all substantial decisions on how I spend my time.

I realize that every decision impacts whether or not I am progressing against my goals. Everything counts. For example, if I agree to do something that is unplanned, the benefit must be greater than doing something else. It’s a choice. That’s why my first word is ‘Choiceful’. It will remind me of the implications of my decisions before I make them.

This year I want to grow by taking on new opportunities and challenges. This will require limiting the amount of activities that are repeats of things I have done in the past. New experiences and challenges are what I am motivated by this year.

My first two words will have limited impact if I don’t leave room in my schedule to seize opportunities. Michael Hyatt calls this creating marginThat’s why my third word is ‘Flexible’. I must keep enough room in my schedule so I can choose take on new experiences.

I felt the pain of zero margin over the past 3 months when I over-extended myself well beyond capacity. My cost was working non-stop, day and night, missing out on other parts of my life. I did it to myself and don’t want to do it again.

I am excited about my 3 word selections and how I will use them over the next 12 months. They are posted by my computer so I don’t forget them. I also plan to conduct a couple of check-ins over 2015 so I get the best use of them.

So what do you think? If you chose 3 words to help guide you in 2015, what would they be?

Phil

What to do When Leaders Don’t Lead Change Well

There are many studies that cite change leadership as the most important factor contributing to successful transitions. Over the the last three years in consulting, I have had the opportunity to test this assertion by observing how different organizations view the roles of change leaders.

Progressive organizations define the change leader’s role and ensure that all leaders are aware of the activities they must perform. The best ones define specific roles for senior leaders and managers that match their levels of seniority and spans of influence. Change capability is valued, invested in and rewarded.

Other organizations have a laissez faire approach to change leadership. The change leader’s role is defined by individual leaders based on their mindset and abilities. There is an unspoken organizational belief that leaders will know how to manage change challenges because of their senior roles and assumed skill set. Change capability is assumed, not an area of focus and not rewarded.

Unsurprisingly, the “they will know what to do” approach doesn’t work. Leaders act and behave based on their personal styles and skill sets, and therefore act inconsistently to challenges with varying levels of success. Mixed messages are communicated and confusion ensues, which leads to distraction, loss of focus and lower performance.

So, what do you do when leaders don’t lead change well? There are three options:

  • Build your leader’s desire and ability to take on the change role
  • Get another leader to take on the change role
  • Take on the change role yourself

Build your leader’s desire and ability to take on the change roleThe upside of this approach is that leaders perform the leadership change role themselves. As long as they buy into the rationale for the roles and  perform the activities, their abilities will improve and benefits will be gained.

The downside of this approach is that mindsets are difficult to change and the leader my not value your rationale enough to change their behaviour. If so, there still is value in negotiating with them to perform some activities such as communication and removal of obstacles.

Get another leader to take on the change role
The upside of this approach is that another, well-skilled and motivated leader will effectively perform the leadership activities and produce immediate results. Natural change leaders understand the importance of change leadership and take pride in taking on the leader activities.

The downside of this approach is that you need to position the request in a way that avoids personal politics among leaders. Also, it can be difficult to convince a leader to take on a significant commitment that maybe outside their mandate.


Take on the change role yourself
The upside of this approach is that you have the most control of how the role will be fulfilled; you will guide how communications are made, obstacles are escalated and active and visible support is 

provided.

The downside of this approach is that you are not the best person to take on the change role and its support activities. Benefits will be realized but you may not have sufficient influence to manage issues and get problems resolved. You will also need to position your activities in a way that avoids personal politics.

Gaps in change leadership are common and contribute to many change failures. You have options to address when leaders don’t lead change well so that transitions are successful. The upside of all of them is they give you the oppo

rtunity to demonstrate your change leadership skills.

Phil

What to do When Leaders Don’t Lead Change Well

There are many studies that cite change leadership as the most important factor contributing to successful transitions. Over the the last three years in consulting, I have had the opportunity to test this assertion by observing how different organizations view the roles of change leaders.

Progressive organizations define the change leader’s role and ensure that all leaders are aware of the activities they must perform. The best ones define specific roles for senior leaders and managers that match their levels of seniority and spans of influence. Change capability is valued, invested in and rewarded.

Other organizations have a laissez faire approach to change leadership. The change leader’s role is defined by individual leaders based on their mindset and abilities. There is an unspoken organizational belief that leaders will know how to manage change challenges because of their senior roles and assumed skill set. Change capability is assumed, not an area of focus and not rewarded.

Unsurprisingly, the “they will know what to do” approach doesn’t work. Leaders act and behave based on their personal styles and skill sets, and therefore act inconsistently to challenges with varying levels of success. Mixed messages are communicated and confusion ensues, which leads to distraction, loss of focus and lower performance.

So, what do you do when leaders don’t lead change well? There are three options:

  • Build your leader’s desire and ability to take on the change role
  • Get another leader to take on the change role
  • Take on the change role yourself

Build your leader’s desire and ability to take on the change role
The upside of this approach is that leaders perform the leadership change role themselves. As long as they buy into the rationale for the roles and  perform the activities, their abilities will improve and benefits will be gained.

The downside of this approach is that mindsets are difficult to change and the leader my not value your rationale enough to change their behaviour. If so, there still is value in negotiating with them to perform some activities such as communication and removal of obstacles.

Get another leader to take on the change role
The upside of this approach is that another, well-skilled and motivated leader will effectively perform the leadership activities and produce immediate results. Natural change leaders understand the importance of change leadership and take pride in taking on the leader activities.

The downside of this approach is that you need to position the request in a way that avoids personal politics among leaders. Also, it can be difficult to convince a leader to take on a significant commitment that maybe outside their mandate.

Take on the change role yourself
The upside of this approach is that you have the most control of how the role will be fulfilled; you will guide how communications are made, obstacles are escalated and active and visible support is provided.

The downside of this approach is that you are not the best person to take on the change role and its support activities. Benefits will be realized but you may not have sufficient influence to manage issues and get problems resolved. You will also need to position your activities in a way that avoids personal politics.

Gaps in change leadership are common and contribute to many change failures. You have options to address when leaders don’t lead change well so that transitions are successful. The upside of all of them is they give you the opportunity to demonstrate your change leadership skills.

Phil

How to Lead Yourself Through Change


Constant change has become a day-to-day reality for most organizations. They must adapt to the changing needs and requirements of their stakeholders, often reshaping their portfolio of change initiatives before they are implemented.

The ability to be your best while accommodating a moving change agenda is a must-have skill for leaders, managers and their team members. People must work through their own reactions to disruption before they can effectively manage it. Those who respond with their initial mindset, feelings and behaviours tend to show their worst and accomplish the least.

Here are some tips to help you manage through continual redefinition of change:

Take time to reflect on the change
Everyone goes through an emotional cycle when faced with change. Before reacting, invest time in thinking through the change including the reasons behind it, how it will impact your organization and you and how to best accommodate it.

Talk through your feelings about changes with someone you trust
Gaining perspective is essential to managing change well. Confidants act as sounding boards to test and broaden perspectives and provide more options to consider. Two or three heads are better than one.

Choose your attitude, actions and behaviours

Ask yourself, “What attitude will make the best of this change?” Next, identify the actions and behaviours that demonstrate your attitude. Often, we don’t consider the impact we have on our co-workers’ ability to navigate change. Planning how to be your best will provide a positive example for others to follow.

Focus on what you know
It is common for people to speculate about the implications of a change, especially when little information is available. These conversations can quickly turn negative. To stay productive, focus on fulfilling your role based on what you know; not on what other people think they know.

Ask questions if you are unclear
Lack of clarity is one of the most cited challenges of dealing with change. Seeking clarity avoids incorrect assumptions and wasted effort. Your questions are most likely shared by others and asking them early contributes to a common understanding of what will and won’t change.

Be patient with yourself and others
Change can be difficult and it is normal for people to feel anxious when their environment changes. Giving people (including yourself) permission to be human will reduce stress and minimize relationship tensions.

Be confident in your capabilities and accomplishments

Often, people react to a change without taking stock of what they can bring to it. Thinking of the capabilities that will help make you successful—past experiences, knowledge, skills and relationships—will focus your energy and build your confidence. 

People remember how you behave and act during change far more than the tasks you complete. How you react to ongoing change—attitude, actions and behaviours—will last longer than the details of the changes you face.


Phil

How to Lead Yourself Through Change

Constant change has become a day-to-day reality for most organizations. They must adapt to the changing needs and requirements of their stakeholders, often reshaping their portfolio of change initiatives before they are implemented.

The ability to be your best while accommodating a moving change agenda is a must-have skill for leaders, managers and their team members. A challenge is that people must work through their own reactions to disruption before they can effectively manage it. Those who respond with their initial mindset, feelings and behaviours tend to show their worst and accomplish the least.
Here are some tips to help you manage through continual redefinition of change:

Take time to reflect on the change
Everyone goes through an emotional cycle when faced with change. Before reacting, invest time in thinking through the change including the reasons behind it, how it will impact your organization and you and how to best accommodate it.

Talk through your feelings about changes with someone you trust
Gaining perspective is essential to managing change well. Confidants act as sounding boards to test and broaden perspectives and provide more options to consider. Two or three heads are better than one.

Choose your attitude, actions and behaviours

Ask yourself, “What attitude will make the best of this change?” Next, identify the actions and behaviours that demonstrate your attitude. Often, we don’t consider the impact we have on our co-workers’ ability to navigate change. Planning how to be your best will provide a positive example for others to follow.

Focus on what you know
It is common for people to speculate about the implications of a change, especially when little information is available. These conversations can quickly turn negative. To stay productive, focus on fulfilling your role based on what you know; not on what other people think they know.

Ask questions if you are unclear
Lack of clarity is one of the most cited challenges of dealing with change. Seeking clarity avoids incorrect assumptions and wasted effort. Your questions are most likely shared by others and asking them early contributes to a common understanding of what will and won’t change.

Be patient with yourself and others
Change can be difficult and it is normal for people to feel anxious when their environment changes. Giving people (including yourself) permission to be human will reduce stress and minimize relationship tensions.

Be confident in your capabilities and accomplishments

Often, people react to a change without taking stock of what they can bring to it. Thinking of the capabilities that will help make you successful—past experiences, knowledge, skills and relationships—will focus your energy and build your confidence. 

People remember how you behave and act during change far more than the tasks you complete. How you react to ongoing change—attitude, actions and behaviours—will last longer than the details of the changes you face.

 
Phil

If He Can Do It So Can I

A universal truth of change management is that leaders must model the new behaviours they ask for before their team members will adopt them. Leaders define organizational cultures through their actions, inspiring people to think “If she can do it so can I.” If they don’t, however, little will change for the better and some behaviours may change for the worse.

I witnessed this leadership dynamic when I discussed Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, with a friend. He said that Daniel Craig’s high level of fitness had inspired him to increase the intensity of his workouts (he’s already a rock) and that he downloaded Daniel’s Skyfall workout regimen to incorporate into his. 

It had a similar effect on me. Although I hadn’t thought of downloading his plan, I did add a few exercises to my morning routine, calling it ‘Project Skyfall’ (hey, whatever works). When I did search for the Bond workout, I was surprised at how many sites came up – we were not alone. 

Leaders, both at work and in the movies, have huge influence on how people behave. What they do (versus what they say) encourages others to take on mindsets and behaviours that may be new, uncomfortable and difficult to master. 

Leaders who share their challenges adopting behaviours are more inspirational than the ones who do so with ease. James Bond’s struggle to get back into shape intensified my “If he can do it so can I” conviction. My additional exercises won’t give me Daniel Craig’s fitness level, but it will change it for the better, and changing for the better is what counts.

Phil

Where does your confidence come from?

On Monday, our son Sam celebrated his sixteenth birthday by jumping out of a plane. He had been planning it for months and two of his cousins agreed to jump too; it was a family event.

You might wonder, “Why would anyone jump out of a plane?” Sam, Jim, and Sarah’s motivations weren’t clear when they were suiting up. They were guessing how free-falling would feel. Would there be a sinking feeling in their stomachs like a roller coaster or would it feel like they were on a blanket of air? They seemed to be excited by the unknown, unconcerned that they didn’t know what they were about to experience. The only thing they knew for certain was that it would be amazing.

I was struck by their confidence and the similarities between sky diving and leading change. Dan Rockwell said, “Confidence is a product of knowing what to do next.” I like this quote and feel that the main benefit of my book is building people’s confidence to navigate (and lead) change by helping them decide what to do next. The sky diving experience suggests that it is not enough to help leaders find answers: they must also believe they have the ability to do so. Leaders must do far more than “paint by numbers”: they must paint new, powerful paintings. The confidence mindset is essential for long-term success. 

All three jumpers were ecstatic about their experiences. Apparently you don’t get a sinking feeling in your stomach when you free-fall or feel like you are on a blanket of air. They were united in wanting to jump again. Sky diving and leading change can be addictive.

When the  Skydive Toronto videographer asked Sam why he was jumping, he said, “I am looking for the thrill.” The next question was “How do you think it’s going to be?” and Sam replied, “Great.” These answers are similar to a leader of change saying, “I am excited about building a new organization. I am not sure exactly what it will look like but I know it will be great.” Two examples of the confidence mindset.

I will re-read my manuscript to ensure I reinforce a confidence mindset. They can last forever. I will also say to Sam again how proud I am of him and his leadership abilities.

Phil



Take Action

Ask us a question about your change

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Subject

    Your Question


    Get the newsletter
    Change With Confidence
    Please type your name and email address and click on "Send". We will add you to our newsletter distribution list. Thank you.




    Get Change with Confidence
    Change With Confidence

    Get Change on the Run
    Change With Confidence

    Twitter

    When impressing leaders, what is the 1 action you would take to get 80% results in 20% of the time? Here’s mine: bit.ly/3CHq0Ho. The podcast episode with key opinion leader @RobbyNap is on Sounder bit.ly/3iKl2js. #change #changemanagement #leadership #podcasts pic.twitter.com/wUxLfW3w0M

    About 2 weeks ago