Leading change is never easy, but there is one key ingredient that is often overlooked when it comes to leading change that lasts.
If you are a leader, at some point you are going to be in an organization that needs to change, it always happens, nothing lasts forever. And one of your challenges as a leader is learning how to lead change well.
Now there have been tonnes of books written on the process of leading change, so I’m not going to try to cover all the different things involved, but there is one particular thing I want to focus in on, that I think is often overlooked, but in my opinion is the most important thing that needs to happen if you want to lead change well, and you want to see that change last.
What most people do, what most leaders do, is that they focus on the mechanics and they think about the people, and the systems and what needs to change and they try and force that through. But that’s not actually the first thing to do, the place to start. The starting place is to look at yourself and say “If I want this change to happen in my organization, how do I need to change?”
Change always has to start with the leaders. We deceive ourselves if we think we can get change into our organization without changing ourselves. It doesn’t happen, it doesn’t work that way. For an organization to experience lasting change, the leaders have to change, they have to actually embody that change, they have to be an example of what that change is going to look like for the people in their organization.
So we need to ask ourselves “For this to happen, what do I need to start doing? Or stop doing? Or do differently? What change do I need to make, what’s it going to cost me? Am I really committed to doing that?” Until you are really committed to changing yourself, you’re never really going to be able to see lasting change in your organization. It’s when people see that you are doing things differently, they’re going to know that the change process is serious, and that you are really committed to it. When that happens they’ll embrace the change, or they’ll start to pay the price to make things change. Until then, it’s all just talk.
Ghandi famously said: “Be the change that you want to see in the world” That’s a great motto. It’s also true for an organization, for a church, any team. Be the change that you want to see, it always starts with you. Leaders go first, that’s just the way it is. Focus on yourself and on changing yourself, and you are going to find that others are going to naturally follow. That’s my tip for today, at some point you are going to be leading change: focus on yourself first, and then bring the organization to change.
Thanks for listening, I hope you have a great rest of your day. God bless.