Five Characteristics of a “Change” Leader

Change is difficult for most people, especially in the workplace. It takes leadership to be able to handle change and to be nimble to try new things to adapt and combat change.

The reality is, if we as professionals don’t change with new processes and trends in our industry, then we have the opportunity to be further and further behind. If we don’t change, we wither and die. However, this doesn’t have to be you or your company. You can be a leader in driving change and adaptation, but it takes special characteristics.

The reality is, if we as professionals don’t change with new processes and trends in our industry… we wither and die. However, this doesn’t have to be you or your company.

In the webcast, Leading Through Change: Thriving Through the 21st Century (which is free if you’re an IAUG member), Debra Zabloudil outlines these five characteristics of a “change” leader:

  • Embrace Ambiguity and Adapt

We cannot be guaranteed a successful outcome when we change. It’s why leaders don’t push change. They want a 100 percent guarantee that something will be successful. But understand, there will be some risk when you take steps to adapt. When we change our processes, it doesn’t mean we should make changes blindly. We should do our homework, learn from failure, and tinker with methods when taking measured risks.

  • Know Yourself and Move Ahead

If you’re someone uncomfortable with change and only comfortable in situations that you know, you may not be the best person to lead through change. You’re going to have dig inside yourself and discover some things about yourself to embrace this change. If you feel self-doubt bubbling up and you’re not projecting confidence and optimistic, you need to check yourself and recalibrate and keep going. 

  • Be Able to Create a Sense of Urgency Without Being Rude

In most cases, we don’t have endless time to create change. You might be amid change because something’s happened in the space, whether it is a new competitor or regulations. It’s imperative to work at lightning speed while leading through change, and you have to be able to create a sense of urgency without it feeling threatening.

  • Be an Open and Honest Communicator

People are going to naturally feel inclined to be a little more vulnerable during a season of change. That’s why transparency is more important than ever. There will be people on your team that may feel like they’re going to lose their job. There is a way to be transparent and kind in communicating the status quo is not an option when change is necessary.

  • Be Able to Imagine

You need to be able to imagine what the future will be. Sometimes as a leader, you need to bring others into that story as well. You need to help others and share with the vision is so that everyone can imagine what this new vision is. You have to keep it alive.

To learn more about how to lead in the 21st Century, join IAUG (it’s free!) and check out the webinar and the rest of the Professional Development series.

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