2016 will again be a year of unprecedented change. Because of the speed at which change is happening in our world, change can’t be managed. This is why Leadership is the name of the game. It’s important to distinguish the difference between the two because we understand management all too well. So well in fact, it has clouded our practice of leadership. Management is budgeting, staffing, controlling, smart problem solving – these are all good things, except they don’t move anybody forward, and if they do, certainly not very fast. Leadership is wholly different. Leadership is setting and communicating vision and strategy, motivating action, removing barriers to success, and getting buy-in. This is leadership’s job, and it’s also the job of almost everyone else in the organization. The leaders who extend an invitation for everyone to lead will get people engaged and moving forward.
The start of the year is an opportunity to restate the vision and think big. It’s a time to prepare your company for changes to come and set the strategy to navigate the way. If communicated with passion and clarity for the purpose of connecting heads and hearts, the vision will become a compelling picture of the future. If done well, it will include a collective belief system to support that vision. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate your vision, as it’s essential that everyone in your organization has a clear understanding of the journey. Speak of it in future tense because it defines, collectively, where you’re going. With a compelling picture of the future, your people will give the added effort and make the needed sacrifices required to sustain success. Your vision offers the safety people need to move forward in a turbulent world, and when they can see the guideposts, they can go even faster.
Finally, success in 2016 will begin and end with your ability to build and maintain well established, trusting relationships. All great teams and organizations are founded on strong relationships and solid trust because that is the way people want to move forward. As leaders, we need to get out of our offices to build the ties-that-bind. Sadly, we don’t accomplish this as often as we should. Unending meetings and full calendars seem to occupy our top priorities. We can lose focus of our role as a leader, which is to lead people into a better future. In the end, the success of our vision, and the strategies that implement it, will always depend upon the relationship we have with our people. These connections will empower and champion everyone’s efforts, ultimately leading to shared success. Read more about 3 Key Elements to Lead Change in 2016.