With the fast pace of change we have now confront, leadership skills need to take on a different focus.
Disruption is the new norm. Every organisation needs to adapt, and those with a successful pedigree need to harness the strengths of their history, whilst at the same time executing to be successful in new world.
In a previous post, I described the need for strong leadership…..from behind.
Whether leading from the front or from behind, people always look for key behaviours in their leaders – a clear and ambitious direction, a bias for action, confidence and agility.
However people also need to look in the mirror for leadership. In times of transformation, leadership needs to become a personal trait for every member of a team. The whole team needs to dream and be realistic, be brave and be humble, be high energy and passionate but disciplined at the same time. When everyone is clear on the direction, and has genuine self-awareness and aligned values, they can achieve the transformation that’s required for themselves, the company, and customers.
There are many ways that individuals can assume the mantle of leadership, without the burden of a management title (let’s face it, management roles are difficult and not always fun, right?). Here are a few key transformational leadership traits:
1. Be undeniably competent at what you do – do the work required to be the best at what you do.
2. Rely less on other people and more on yourself – leadership is not about hierarchy, its about being empowered and accepting the responsibility that goes with empowerment
3. Choose a positive approach and mindset – transformation is not easy, so if you’re doing it, have fun doing it! Choose the way you think. As Covey said, pro-act, don’t re-act. Sometimes we draw the short straw. So? Play the cards your dealt and enjoy the hand!
4. Know what is important, and never settle for anything less than you deserve – organisations don’t have values, people do. We develop our values from our upbringing, families, friends, community. Never compromise your standards. And never work in an environment that conflicts with your core values – it will eat you up. And on the flip side, it’s axiomatic that you’ll thrive in an environment that’s aligned to your value set, right?
5. Never stop innovating – and be prepared to disrupt yourself. The worst time to make a change is when you’re down in the dumps or have your back against the wall – your flexibility and options can be very limited. However, paradoxically, the hardest time to change is when everything is going well and you fear you have something to lose – but that can be the ideal time to disrupt yourself and think very differently.
Be prepared to change your focus in times of transformation. Be prepared to be a transformational leader.