Which kind of leader are you?

We are all leaders of some kind, and it is amazing how our leadership behavior influences others.  These days I am especially curious about organizational leaders — those that are change-agents.  From what I can tell, the most effective ones can effectively manage the confluence of three things:  their work styles, their organizations’ cultures, and their organizations’ readiness.

It seems that the best leaders follow a few golden rules, which they emulate and share with others.  It helps them and the people they influence make similar decisions which are consistent with the overarching business objectives — customers or employees, revenues or profits, company reputation or consistent processes? Decisions on these choices are not mutually exclusive, but they do drive different types of business environments.

Organizations also have specific cultures which respond differently to various types of leaders.  Some organizations like emails and document trails; others like open spaces with earbuds; some like offices and hierarchies.  If leaders are ‘slipping into’ roles, then it’s important for them to understand the culture and assimilate.  If they are trying to change a culture, then they’ll probably want to adopt slightly different styles, but they will have to experiment with how much it should contrast from the existing culture.

Finally, the last factor is timing. An effective leader knows how to navigate an organization to be in the right place at the right time.  This type of leader understands the existing company climate; what the last leader did and why it worked or failed; if/ how the culture needs to change; the agility of the organization; and if the existing culture will be supportive of a different agenda.  To help assess the organization’s readiness for a new strategy, effective leaders need some strong internal allies, who have insights to various company cliques — functional departments, early-adopters, virtual employees, etc.  Good leaders use these key colleagues as sounding boards to understand what adjustments need to be made to the organization and to provide feedback on the effectiveness of change.  This is how they ensure that they have the right employees, who will work together to help the organization do great things.

‘Change management’ is a big topic, and a few paragraphs do not do it justice.  But in short summary, the implementation of change takes a lot of brainpower, energy, and influence.  It is an important aspect of all businesses, as change is inevitable.  The key to success is to stay focused on your vision and to be consistent when making decisions.

Always wishing you the best,


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