Have you ever wondered the difference between a manager and a leader? A manager runs the organization’s day to day functions, fulfilling a technical role within the system. A leader, on the other hand, is someone who possesses the vision and the ability to make people want to follow him. A leader is not just the person in charge of affairs who gets the job done, he is the inspiration people look for, especially in times of change.
The goal of a change manager is to minimize the impact of change and any distractions arising from it. Change leadership, on the other hand, is about the vision, processes and the driving force that fuel transformation within an organization. As a change leader, your task is not to prevent failure, but to ensure that failures act as an opportunity to learn something new, and do not hamper the growth of people around you or the organization. Not only that, you also have to focus on communicating effectively about the change with your team and determine the weak spots that need your immediate attention.
Here are a few traits of change leaders that make them highly effective.
Offering direct response
Change can be disconcerting for many team members.
Change leaders understand that and mitigate the concerns of team members with forthcoming responses that reveal the cause or reasoning behind a decision.
They don’t just provide a vague overarching vision of the future, but work with the team to dispel any apprehension by communicating compelling rationale for change.
Actively help team members to adjust to change
Change leaders go beyond helping team members cope with change by getting actively involved in institutionalizing change. They participate in discussions, brainstorming sessions, team meetings, decision making process and deal closure meetings with clients. Instead of relying on emails and office circulars, they personalize their interactions with team members to ensure effective communication is maintained at all times and no one is left behind in the course of change.
Embrace an open minded approach
Change leaders embrace an open minded approach to problem solving. They truly believe in multiple solutions to a problem to get the same positive outcome.
They champion this approach and encourage their team to follow them in paying attention to details and finding the subtle connections to successfully complete projects.
Take care of themselves
Successful change leaders get involved in change initiatives with the knowledge that it can possibly lead them into some unwarranted situations and environments filled with negative behavior or emotions. They actively build a social support system and take care of themselves to cope with such situations and prevent burnout. This support system also enables them to embrace change rather than having to cope with it.
So, would you rather be a change manager who makes sure least disruption in the status quo, or a change leader who enables organizations to make a larger leap into the future? If you look closely at things around you today, everyone is busy managing change, rather than leading it. Change leadership brings with it big opportunities and bigger risks, making it a big challenge for organizations in the near future. And the fact that not many change leaders exist in the present setup offers a bigger opportunity for you to build yourself as a change leader and add new dimensions to your success in the future.