Leaders Need to Be Transformative Change Catalysts
By Quang Le, CEO, Le Transformations
Part 4 of 4
Last time we shared Leadership Gaps and Where to Start to bridge those gaps in: The New Normal Begs the Need for New Leadership Skills (Article 3 of 4)
This week we explore the Leadership Attributes that are Essential to Leading Change in the New Normal.
As mentioned previously, these times require the right combination of leadership skills and traits. Our experience at Le Transformations (LETS) has taught us that many leadership styles can work, with no set playbook. But even before we may re-enter a “post-pandemic” world, there are best practices of organizations and executives that illuminate the attributes needed for great leadership.
Ten Change Leadership Attributes
Communication. The most critical executive skill, strong communication is fundamental to building relationships, articulating goals, and improving motivation, morale, and productivity.
Organizational Change Competency. Since our world will forever be in flux, leaders must help create agile organizations; they need to be ready to pivot quickly, especially in urgent circumstances; and lead their teams through continuous change. Organizational change competency is a requisite not a nice-to-have.
Empathy. Being emphatic starts with listening and understanding the needs of all staff. In the new normal leaders will be managing the needs of stakeholders beyond just shareholders. The expanded view of stakeholders in the new normal include
Nurturing staff. In today’s competitive business climate, where trust and loyalty are suspect, and there is a shortage of specialized professionals, leaders must be extra diligent in recruiting and retaining top talent. This means embracing new ways of working rather than demanding in-person work as the only means to get work done.
Building culture. Leaders need to assess what’s working and what’s not with their values and corporate culture. They need to integrate branding and marketing with culture, always putting people first. "Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” — Peter Druker.
Vision. Leaders must have a clear vision, and it must permeate throughout the organization. Seeing the big picture is about aspiration but also results and clinging on to past successes as the only means towards survivability.
Knowledge. Leaders need to keep up with their education and training and share their wisdom. Leveraging technology is a big part of the formula but mobilising the workforce is the domain of leadership.
Risk taking. Expanding beyond their comfort zone and cocoon of stability, leaders must have the courage to be bold and creative…and anchored at the same time. “What is your change strategy?” — Quang Le, LETS CEO.
Compassion. At a time when so many employees feel, leaving companies in droves, and striking, leaders should recognize the tremendous strain the pandemic has created for staff. Recognition, appreciation, and compassion goes a long way in helping to acknowledge the tremendous efforts everyone is going through to stay productive, stay engaged, and juggle work/life priorities. Being a compassionate leader enhances your leadership presence.
Authentic. Few leaders are naturally charismatic and being authentic feels vulnerable, however, they can try to walk in others’ shoes, practice humility, and work on being authentic and vulnerable.
How to Take Charge
So, how do we build the next generation of leaders? We know that training and professional coaching should be at the core of an environment built around continuous learning; this includes sharing information with staff and mentoring future members of the C-suite, paying particular attention to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It involves leveraging technology along with in-person interaction to further the greater good. But since in-house resources are typically lacking in this discipline, where can leaders find the experts to take them to the next level?
The emergence of a new breed of leaders coincides with a new breed of change strategy consultants. Pioneering this new frontier are specialized Change Leadership consultancies. In seeking the best fit for your organization, seek an experienced firm that provides leadership coaching, change strategy, and change leadership as part of its service offerings.
In short, in the new normal, leaders must be change catalysts, and they must be accountable. After all, in our high-stakes world of turbulence, leaders can make or break their enterprises. But they need professional guidance. They need to invest in people and engage employees to be part of the solution. When your staff are allies and they embrace your mission, you are in the best position to weather the disruption of today and sail through inevitable storms on the horizon.
About Le Transformations. Le Transformations (LETS), a pioneer in the field of change leadership, is a leading change strategy consulting firm based in Washington, DC, with clients worldwide. LETS helps leaders navigate disruptive change and engage staff. It specializes in industries that are most vulnerable in the new normal, including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, automotive/transportation, and real estate. LETS' approach features a blending of technology, processes, staff, and leadership, with a particular focus on culture. Leadership change coaching is a key part of LETS' services. For more information, visit www.LeTransformations.com.