Change is a natural part of business, particularly in today's fast paced market. Whether you are dealing with mergers and acquisitions or fast changing technology, as a leader you need to help your employees deal with change in a manner which is as seamless and easy as possible. There are some leaders who are naturally better at this than others, but the skills are clear in those that know how to manage change well. Here are a few characteristics of leaders who are best able to help their business through turbulent times.
Leaders who know when to listen
Leaders who are able to listen to their employees about the changes they are looking to make are the ones who are better able to deal with issues as they arise simply because they can get out ahead of them. Leaders who spend all their time listening to outside interests are often doomed to fail. Listening to the perspectives and concerns of their front-line employees helps them to hear exactly what needs to happen in order for the change initiative to succeed. That boots-on-the-ground perspective can sometimes go overlooked, but leaders know to listen to the customer frustrations, the failures in process, and the competitor's advantage – even or especially when it's not convenient or easy to hear.
Leaders who know when to play politics
Just as in politics, there comes a time when changing administrations disrupt the status quo in business. A leader who can recognize when this needs to happen and how best to meet the needs of a unique situation are the ones who will be able to manage change with the flexibility and long term outlook that drives business success. Traditionalists will always struggle with adapting, but that flexibility is needed to stay ahead within a changing market. Leaders who are adept at change management know to always bring new ideas to the table and not let change make them too uncomfortable to pivot as the situation dictates.
Leaders who understand organizational priorities
There will always be those in leadership positions who place their own personal agenda above that of the company they work for. But rarely do those individuals survive a shake up. Putting the business first is what facilitates the change management process. Great leaders have a rapport with key people within the company, and they maintain that rapport by learning what is important to them as individuals and as a group within their respective cultures. Building consensus around key organizational priorities is what will mean the difference between successful change management and failed initiatives.
Leaders who are consistent and who have grit
Change is difficult for leaders as well as employees. As such, the success of changing priorities requires leadership who have the grit and perseverance to see things through to the end. In order to hold steady in the face of difficulties, leaders must have a core purpose they strongly believe in that anchors the initiative and guides their own and their team’s decision making.
Are you looking to build a strong, resiliant team?
Your leadership team needs to have both the stamina and the patience to nurture change initiatives. For more tips on how to develop those skills in your own team or to find consultants that can help your company meet challenges head on, connect with us at Clarity Consultants today.