Adapting your leadership role and style to fit organisational change

In a volatile business climate, change and fluctuation are inevitable facts of life, and as leaders we must be open to transitions and ready to react positively when they occur.  

Any moment of organisational change is a great opportunity for leaders to reflect, assess where they want to go, and step-up to lead the way forward.

Here are some essential tips, which can assist us in our continuous evolution as leaders, to get the best out of critical transition moments when they arise.

Avoid detachment

Change can often be uncomfortable. All too often, leaders are invested in sponsoring change, but are not willing to lead and actively change themselves in crucial moments of development. They identify a problem as abstract to themselves, supply a budget and strategy for development, which does not involve their own participation, and watch on from the side- lines as other people are forced to deal with enacting the changes.

It may not be intentional, but this detached attitude often gives off the impression that others are to blame for the problem, and that the leadership is immune to failure. It becomes a kind of unconscious pointing the finger at the rest of the team, and often produces the opposite effect to what we are looking for.  Namely, we run the risk of producing a less confident, demoralised, resentful and less productive team, who are ultimately less capable of reaching their potential or enact the required changes, effectively.

In contrast, if we engage with our teams during difficult moments of change, if we show willingness to be better ourselves, and take on shared responsibility for problems that arise, we will inspire our people to be more pro-active, more accountable, and more invested in the future.  

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Keep learning & embrace change

If we can represent ourselves as active, learning leaders we will set a strong example and show that we are truly evolving as leaders.

Technical learning, such as gaining new qualifications, completing workshops, courses and team building exercises are all important and valid ways of showing that you are committed as a leader. However, to be fully invested in change, we also need to be practised in self-awareness and adaptive learning, continually assessing who we were, who we are and who we want to be on a personal, human level.

This requires a lot of work on ourselves, and we need to ask important questions to unlock our potential and our ability to embrace change: What makes us special? What is our true purpose or belief system? How can we utilise everything we have experienced and learnt? What is there for us still to learn? How can our relationships be better?

If we are actively invested in technical and personal development, we will be able to lead, delegate, motivate and inspire, whilst creating a critical learning environment that fosters growth and diversity, and is not daunted by organisational change.

Communicate trust

If we believe in ourselves and put trust and belief in others, leaders can act as role models and lay strong foundations for accountability and unified change, which is in the interests of any organisation.

In moments of organisational change we need to flex our trust muscles more than ever, and acknowledge that real change is co-created. It is crucial for us to listen attentively, build and nurture bold relationships, believe in each other, and inspire one another at these times. Only by stepping into change together, by providing adequate feedback and fortifying support can we go through change successfully.

Be the change

When we step up and lead the process of change in our organisations from the top- down we can motivate our teams to positively react to critical challenges. If we promote a focused, self- aware and unified approach to change, based on communication and taking on responsibility, development goals will be more likely to be fulfilled, and positive changes will occur throughout the organisation.

When we stand up as leaders, and bring our authentic, pro-active selves, we can create cultures of change based on conversation and shared goals, which will make the world and our organisations all the richer.

About the author

Zana Goic Petricevic is an internationally certified leadership coach, consultant and keynote speaker. She is the founder of Bold Leadership Culture, and the author of Bold Reinvented: Next level leading with Courage, Consciousness and Conviction.

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