Much of the work that I do is focused on helping businesses go from where they are to where they want to be. I always work hard to make sure that the changes I help businesses make are sustainable, meaning that the leaders in the business are the ones to drive the change. Though every organization is different, most of the challenges that businesses and leaders face involve creating a fully engaged, capable team of people that can execute the mission of the business better than the competition while adapting to the changing market conditions. While that's a daunting task, I help these businesses make that change happen and often these are three of the critical steps.
Clarify Where “There” Is
Many of the leaders I work with recognize that they are not where they need to be, but they have not yet clarified what the new destination looks like. They see that they are not getting the growth the business needs, their employees are not fully engaged, and there is not enough accountability amongst the people in the organization. It is easier to see what is not working, but it is more important to define that future state. Every leader should be able to describe this “destination” in detail to themselves and to their employees. Only when this is crystal clear, can you begin to move towards that new, better version of the business.
Examine Your Culture
People in charge of businesses or teams often think about changes that need to be made to the structure, talent and strategy. Unfortunately, those things will not transform a business unless you change the culture as well. Culture doesn’t just happen, it is a result of many controllable things—like how leaders operate within a business and how they interact with their employees. Culture can be changed, and it must be changed if a business is going to accomplish more tomorrow than it does today. Many leaders don’t even consider culture, because they are unsure of how to change it. It seems much easier to focus on things that are easily measured, even if those things are far less responsible for the success of the business.
Focus on Leadership Inputs
If you want more engaged employees and more ownership and accountability throughout the organization, what should you do differently as a leader? This is a question many managers and leaders struggle with. How do you begin to think about your leadership as an input and the behavior of your team as an output? Revenue and profit are end results that are driven by the way people in the business operate and the actions they take. Employee behavior is directly influenced by the way leaders in the business think and act. It's a simple truth that if you change the way you lead, people will respond differently.
Changing the way people think and act in a business is tough but it can be done. I have worked with leaders that have completely transformed their leadership behaviors, their culture and the success of their business by focusing on these critical components. I can add speed and increase the likelihood of success. But anyone dedicated to making these kinds of changes can make it happen.
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