The driving where you’re not late, but you can’t dilly dally? The driving that keeps the foot on the gas but an eye on the speedometer.
A ticket, causing any delay, would spell disaster. So, you’ve expertly guided your vehicle to the “fast lane” on the far left, knowing you could gain another 30 seconds if you could pass a few more cars before your exit. You feel pretty good, knowing you might have a minute to spare—not too much, but not late either.
But then, to your dismay, your car quickly gains on a small, fuel-efficient vehicle puttering in the fast lane. You see your hard-earned seconds steadily, systematically falling away. You hope that the driver of the slow-moving vehicle realizes they belong a few lanes to the right and graciously moves over, giving way to an open fast lane, but no, they stay put, both hands responsibly gripping the wheel at ten and two.
You quickly calculate they must be going five mph under the speed limit, and as you try to make a lane change to your right, a few faster, but not fast enough, cars block you in on the right. You’re stuck with no time to spare and your foot off the gas.
This aggravating driving scenario is an actual picture of leadership getting stuck. Stuck leadership perpetuates sluggish business, and passive companies are heading towards challenging, irrelevant, and unprofitable business. It’s a dead end. Not getting stuck in a slow-moving zone doesn’t always require a complete overhaul but a mindset shift. Organizations right now in this fast-paced market have become over-managed and under-led. Still, the right kind of leadership greases the wheels and opens the lanes for efficient, agile, and urgent organizations that can change, adapt, and make a profit and difference in a fast-changing world.
Making this change isn’t as easy as clicking a turn signal and changing lanes, but the hard work towards leading change is worth it. It starts at the top, and transformation then infuses the rest of the team. Becoming a leader who leads with action and behavior instead of pursuing title and position is a leader who transforms from the top down. And speed matters. In a faster-moving world, windows of opportunity open and close more rapidly. Gathering yourself and your team to jump through that window to capture the opportunity becomes vital to beat the competition. You and your team cannot be the culprits: driving the fuel-efficient car in the fast lane. You can’t drive 40 mph when the world around you is going 70 mph.
In leadership, speed matters. But moving with speed requires the leader not to be a better change manager but a better change leader. A change leader is engaged with the head and the heart. Unfortunately, the heart aspect of leadership is missed entirely by most organizations. Mission and vision become an intellectual exercise, and ROI, analytics, metrics silence the creativity, strengths, and abilities to engage the head AND the heart of team members. An executive team leading from the head only is focused on shareholders, the bottom line, title, and position, not realizing that feelings are more influential in effecting change and driving performance. Knowing how to tap leverage both the head and the heart is at the core of change leadership.
The cynic eschews the fluffy, kumbaya sound of change leadership, not realizing the incredible power and potency the heart can unleash. Becoming a leader who leads strongly from both the head and the heart is the leader who affects change at a high rate of speed. Instead of an untouchable executive barking commands to terrified employees, a leader serves, acts as a resource, mentor, and coach. A change leadership leader establishes strong relationships allowing for authentic trust to be installed, ensuring better, more effective, and efficient communication.
An authentic leader does not feel threatened by other talents and gifts and can give away control. By disbursing power, this leader welcomes teamwork and receives the best each team member offers, thus improving the final product. Leading with love in the workplace creates a leader who consistently takes action to help others, and the more the leader helps others get what they want, the more the leader gets what they want. Change management is focused on the complex systems within a company, and managers make them run smoothly and efficiently. Change leadership is wholly different: it harnesses vision and strategy, communicates it, gets buy-in, removes barriers, and inspires action.
These concepts might sound idealistic and unrealistic to the untrained executive. Still, this shift in thinking and systematic implementation of practical steps transform a company from the inside out. Understanding and anticipating the challenges to change leadership becomes vital to combating the resistance towards change. Each step of this process, barrier, and concept of change leadership is essential and shifts towards something new. My business is built around activating that shift—helping you, your team, and your company begin to lead with not just the head but unleash the power of the heart. Driving in the fast lane with the open road ahead ensures your company will be efficient, agile, and responsive.
If you would like to know how to how this is accomplished please contact me today.