A Toolkit for Leading Change

I recently asked readers to submit their burning leadership development questions. Those that get picked for a post will receive a free copy of my eBook.

This question from Teri:

“How do you prepare teams for change?  What are good communication tools?  How much is too much?”

The ability to lead yourself, a team, and/or an entire organization is a critical, must-have ability for any leader. It’s also one of the most written and discussed about topics in leadership development. Even in my own blog, I’ve written a number of posts on the topic, and so have dozens of other guest bloggers.

Rather than writing yet another post, here’s a “toolkit” for leaders that I think will help address the reader’s question:

1. Study the models – and pick one to use as a framework. See Which Change Model Should You Pick? for a list of my favorites, with links to source material. Read whatever book the model came from. My favorite: Managing Transitions, Making the Most of Change, by William Bridges.

3. And so is involvement and managing your own reaction! See 20 Tips For Leaders During Turbulent Times.

4. Hang onto to your star performers – read Make Sure You “Hug” Your Top Performers During Times of Change.

I really like the last question too: “How much is too much?” Leaders tend to measure their accomplishments by how many new and exciting things (changes) they can implement. After all, inspiring people to change is the definition of leadership. Elected officials tend to use the same measuring stick – success is measured by how many bills they can sponsor and pass.

However, I think one of the most important things a leader can do is to also say no to things, as well as decide what the team is no longer going to do. No, we can’t make the world slow down – constant change is here to stay. It’s a matter of strategic priority- figuring out which changes are best aligned to achieve your critical business objectives, and the rest all take a back seat.

Organizations, and people, can only handle so many priorities with a finite amount of resources. Burning a few policy manuals will inspire your team too, and set them free to implement the new changes you are leading.

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