Follow the leader
The times, they are a-changing...
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” - Henry Ford.
Change is a constant. Another constant is questions.
One of those questions is this: why are we not better at managing change?
For organizations with a history of success and accomplishment, there are tremendous implications of making a significant change in strategy or operations. Status quo is a powerful force, and for good reason. Change affects lives.
In times of disruption we need new perspectives, new questions, new metrics and new objectives. This paradigm shift is very difficult for long-standing managers and companies. In times of change and uncertainly, like the present, how do you decide what is best to do? Or to stop doing?
The conventional take is that people resist change because they don’t feel that they are part of the process; that they lack input or control over their own destinies. This is absolutely true, but it is also incomplete and unsatisfying. It doesn’t address a complementary issue: why doesn’t change happen more often and more successfully? Organizations, societies, governments fail to change at an alarming rate. And the need to change is accelerating as problems of our own creation mount.
Look to history as your inspiration, we are told. But history provides a map, at best, not turn-by-turn directions. It is a guide, not a how-to. It instructs but doesn’t lead.
The magic bullet is leadership. Whether promulgated from the top or pushed from the bottom, change is accomplished when stakeholders are inspired to do so, and the reasons are clear and hopeful. We need better leaders; many leaders are failing us.
Studies and surveys prove this.
As Simon Sinek says, people follow “I have a dream, not I have a plan.” Actually, an effective leader must have both a vision and the ability to manage its execution.
When confronted with the need to change, ask often and loudly: who’s leading, and what’s the dream AND the plan? Follow the best leaders, and choose whom to follow wisely. Your future depends on it.