February 22, 2021
Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director
Change can be hard it can also be exhilarating. Change is necessary as we adjust to new and more challenging market environments. We are in a time when organizations will always be transforming, with transforming it doesn’t need to be exhausting. The truth is that change in our personal and professional lives is inevitable. It is going to happen. We have the three choices with change.
1. Fight it
2. Accept it
3. Champion it and lead the change.
Leaders need to have the skills and determination to lead people through the change process courageously and positively. We cannot be all things to all people. It is impossible. We don’t need to know everything; we won’t have the same knowledge and skills as others. This is why it is fundamental that leaders build great teams. Building a great team starts with putting people first.
While earning my MBA – Marketing degree I had an employee who was an exceptional marketer. The lessons and skills she taught me have been invaluable. I have been able to take some of those nuggets of information and expand upon them. We need to seize every opportunity to be life-long learners and to learn from our team members.
Five things leaders can do to put people first:
- Motivate a deeper sense of purpose.
- Create a powerful clear vision by helping others see the need.
- Listen to their fears and concerns.
2. Go all in.
- Develop a clear action plan, including priorities, timelines, tasks, and resources
3. Enable people with the capabilities to succeed during transformation and beyond.
- Enlist an army of supporters. One of the most difficult lessons for many leaders to learn is the necessity to welcome and tolerate disagreement. When you surround yourself and the change with people who support and feel comfortable to disagree and provide an alternate perspective it will help you and the team make better decisions.
4. Instill a culture of continuous learning.
5. Leaders need to have a vision, a clear road map with milestones and hold people accountable.
Leaders need to be inclusive. Inclusive is critical to putting people first. Change leads to big opportunities. The Greek philosopher Socrates said it best: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”