Leading in a fast paced world demands you find ways to adapt more quickly to change. The old systems of command and control don’t work anymore, it hasn’t worked well for many decades now. What’s the alternative?[Read more…] about Military Lessons for Leading in Uncertain Times
Leadership consists of two journeys. The first is the journey of self discovery, the personal leadership journey. The second, is the journey to creative leadership, to quote Steve Jobs, it’s the journey to “make a dent in the universe“. To reach their full potential leaders must make the shift from personal to creative leadership.
All leadership begins with personal leadership – the art and science of leading oneself. It’s the foundation, you must lead yourself first, before leading others.
“Until you ‘figure out what success means’ to you personally and to your organisation, leadership is an almost ‘pointless conversation’, Drucker Admonished, Success Built to Last
Effective leadership requires a clear definition of success. Every morning you’re faced with a myriad of things to get done, all competing for your attention. When you have a ton of things on your “to do” list and you lack a clear definition of success you quickly lose focus, become reactive and leadership fails.
Getting clear on your definition of success is critical for successful leadership. You cannot lead unless you know where you’re going.
Organisations don’t change. People change. People change one strategic conversation at a time.
Strategic conversations play a critical role in the execution of strategy and change as:
- Vision must be shared before it can be lived. This requires conversation.
- Employee engagement is driven by meaning and purpose. This requires conversation.
- Execution requires alignment of action and behaviour. This requires conversation.
How effectively are you leading strategic conversations in support of the execution of your strategy?
The key to surviving the fast paced world of today is that ability to accept and manage change. But making change stick is a difficult task. And when it comes to managing change in businesses the failure rate is high.
- An IBM study “Making Change Work” of more than 1,500 practitioners worldwide found that only 59% of corporate projects miss at least one objective or fail entirely.
- In 2008, a McKinsey survey of 3,199 executives around the world found that only one transformation in three succeeds.
- An Economist Intelligence Unit study, sponsored by the Project Management Institute (PMI) found that less than half (46%) of executives their businesses are “excellent” or even “good” at executing initiatives and projects to deliver strategic results.
- A 2013 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Survey found that only one out of four respondents (25%) say they are able to sustain gains from their change management initiatives over the long-term.
As you can see from these research results that making change stick is not easy. What can be done to improve on these results?
Bronnie Ware an Australian palliative care nurse who provides specialised medical care for people who are in the last 12 weeks of their lives. Whilst working with dying people, Bronnie recorded the dying thoughts of her patients in her book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying”. She found that the top five regrets of people on their deathbed were:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.