Become a Champion of Change

The most well-known distinction between a manager and a leader is found in the fact that managers are great at maintaining direction or managing processes, whilst leaders are able to influence people and move an organization in a new direction. Managers are thus able to steer the ship, whilst leaders are able to plot the course. These constantly changing times we now live in, have made managers redundant, any business, which wants to thrive and even survive, in the new age of constant and rapid change, must be filled with leaders, at every level in the organization.

Managers were able to manage systems and maintain the direction of businesses in the past. All business today need to be flexible and be able to rapidly change direction, so that they can work within the changing environment they face every day. Any business, which wants to still be around five years from now, needs a competent leader at the helm. In times of change, like we are facing right now, people always seek out more and better leaders. The leaders, who will thrive in this new environment and who will be the most sought after, understand the fact that any change, needed in their organization, must start with them first. Mahatma Gandhi said it so well when he said “We must be the change that we envision.” and Tolstoy said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

If you are a leader, who wants to successfully lead your organization in these turbulent times, which I believe is the new norm, you must accept that all change starts and ends with you. If you want anything around you to change, you must change. When you are the example of the change you want and need in your organization, people will support you as the leader and introduce the change needed. No leader can change anyone else. The only person who can change himself or herself is himself or herself. I know this sounds really simplistic and obvious, but too many leaders think that they can change the people in their organization. As a leader you are responsible to lead the people who follow you and positively influence them. You can never be responsible for them and the way they think, feel and just are.

No one can ever change anyone else, unless they want to change and they choose to make the change themselves. As a leader you are responsible for teaching the people in your team good leadership, for sharing things that can add value to their lives, guiding, growing and evolving them, but the people in your teams are the only ones, who can take responsibility to change themselves.

As a leader the best way to encourage the people around you to embrace change, is to stop hoping things will change and to lead the necessary change, by changing yourself first. Once the leader has embraced the necessary change, he or she must encourage people to see the importance of change and to lead them to start the necessary change within themselves. You must encourage and show all the people in your teams that change is an inside job. Change is a door that opens from within.

When you as the leader can influence the people within your teams to start making the personal changes necessary, to support the changes in your environment and they understand that the change must start with them, you will have discovered a fantastic tool for managing and thriving in these new changing times. Change is the new normal and just the way things are today. When everyone in your team becomes a part of the solution in your organization and they are willing to make the personal changes needed, to thrive in these rapidly evolving and changing times. You have discovered the winning formula to play a winning game and you and your organization get to become a champion of change.

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