Learner Mind To Change Leadership
All of us as leaders face a lot of change in a short period of time. For those rare and wonderful times when things are stable, productive and running smoothly, hopefully we rejoice. This week we’re working with those times when a change is called for and it’s difficult for us to support because we know that things we’ll stop being so smooth. Fear not, especially if you’re the type of leader tirelessly works to have a cohesive, smoothly operating team. This week I provide quite a bit of material to work with that should help ease you and your team through the change you’re facing.
How To Be A Learner Before Being A Leader
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You’ve faced changes before so that isn’t the issue. In fact, you’ve implemented changes regardless of your level of personal support. However, if you’re looking to minimize the disruption both to yourself and your team, then let’s lay that strong mind-body foundation right now. This free practice is designed to help you get in touch with how you become disoriented so you can better work through it.
Check out the video for these key concepts and how they come together:
- New routine disorientation
- Learn the structure
- Stay with it as a learner
This is a pretty compact practice. It’s also a useful challenge to watch your mind-body connection and how you relate to change. With this is in place and a little practice, you’ll be ready for using the rest of the content in this post. So get started with your free foundation practice by clicking here.
How To Lead Routine Change
Perhaps you’re in the environment and culture that says something like, “the only constant is change”. If there is high amount of change, especially if it isn’t showing gains in efficiency, then you know how it slows you and your team down. Although you may not be able to alter this reality, you can approach it in an efficient way. Focusing on drudgery of change likely has you procrastinating and that alone can drain you.
So let’s shift this a little bit. In the video I tie 3 key ideas together so you can translate the efficiency gains of routine by routinizing your approach to change. Here are those keys:
- Recognize efficiency and comfort in routine
- Enter a learning routine
- Don’t abdicate leadership because of routine
This set of ideas builds on yesterday’s free foundation practice. Tomorrow we’ll do the deep dive to give you extra lift in getting your change off the ground.
Deep Dive: How To Take Right Action As A Leader
Let’s not get off on the wrong foot here. By right action I’m not necessarily talking about it in the strictly Buddhist sense. Leaders today certainly deal with plenty of complexity in the face of short deadlines. A big dimension of you being the most effective leader is being able to discern what is the right action to take and then take it.
If you have are an inclusive leader, when alignment breaks down and the team looks to you to take a stand, this might not be something you are really good at. Actually, just because a leader is decisive doesn’t mean they’ve taken right action, just that they’ve taken action.
So let’s build out a bit more skill as leaders and look at taking right action.
What Is Truly Needed?
Just by you reflecting a bit on this question in your current leadership situation puts you in a batter position. Can you tell what is truly needed? Many times this at first appears to be the task at hand, the latest initiative or cleaning up the recent mess from another part of the organization. Although these matters are urgent, when you need to take a stand, what is truly needed for you to get behind and be the leader?
It is not unusual that answering this is quite the mixture of actions, planning and discussions with team members, peers and superiors. After assessing the current situation a little deeper and more closely you will have more information but likely not more clarity. That’s where moving onto the next question should unlock more for you…
What Is Your Passion As A Leader?
At various times as leaders our passion surges and answering this becomes a lot clearer. So how clear is it now in the face of your current challenge?
With whatever comes up for you, be as honest with yourself as possible. Is this really your passion? Is this what drives you as a leader? Inclusive leaders seem to get stuck more often trying to articulate their passion and by extension a strong position.
I do believe inclusion is very valuable. I also realize that when team alignment fades, sometimes it is out of fear because the leader hasn’t articulated a grounding stance for people to focus on. And by focus, this could mean the team divides and focuses on a position opposite from you. However, now they are in motion and now dialog is open again. As an inclusive leader, getting meaningful dialog going again should help.
Intersection Of Passion & Need = Right Action
Where your passion as a leader meets the true need is the moment that will point you toward right action. If you are an inclusive leader or one that is strong at mediating, then you getting grounded in why you want to be leading in the first place should bring clarity to your thinking. Once you glimpse the path, usually it’s pretty narrow, mobilizing your team should fall into your sweet spot. And you should be able to recognize it as a flow state or something resembling it.
At this point you will have internal alignment for yourself. That kind of congruency is apparent to almost anyone and honestly, it feels great. I am sure you have been there before. Even if you are able to realize this on a small scale it help your team also get moving again. When you see a team stall, the roots are often out of fear. But the fear is masked in indecision and a kind of treading water. When you make a strongly centered move, that often eliminates the underlying fear that most people can’t recognize – fear of failure or making a mistake. Once you make that grounded step into action, you’ve made it safe for your team.
Next Step Unclear?
The next step does not need to be a full on flow state that lasts for weeks. In fact, just getting it going for yourself to take a small step forward can do a lot of good and mobilize you and your team toward resolution of your current challenge. If this seems confusing, difficult or out of your comfort zone, you probably are at your developmental edge. The good news is that working at your edge can be navigated and even fun with a skilled approach. Also, simply bouncing ideas off of a third party with your best interests in mind, like a professional coach, can be quite helpful. Try a single coaching conversation by clicking here. These single sessions are a great investment of about an hour in resolving your issue as well as your own personal development.
How To Help A Leader Drive Change
So perhaps a leader close to you needs to drive a change but seems to be stuck in neutral. For some leaders they just need a bit of time to settle in to the change. Others barrel forward. This series has been working with the leader that is great at bringing people together, a mediator. One aspect that this type of leader can find difficult at times is gaining alignment when people need them to take a stand. Once they do, even in small ways, the team can align. The team is waiting for the leader to, well lead.
However, pointing it out directly likely isn’t going to get very far. So in this video I share 3 tactics to try:
- Replace something small
- Replace a daily task
- Ask about how they feel about particular aspects
With these gentle prods we’re breaking them out of being stuck and asking them to lead again.
How To Be A Better Change Leader
Click Here To Get Your FREE Practice
I think you’re as ready as you’ll ever be for your second, FREE practice. It’s time to play a bit with disorientation to change and the gut sense of when things realign. This practice is designed to help you get in touch with it on a small scale that you can grow fairly rapidly if you wanted to. You can also have a bit of fun with it as well. Download your free practice by clicking here.
All my best,
Russell Lindquist, Founder & Principal
Russell is a Certified Integral Professional Coach™. I help leaders and entrepreneurs break through plateaus, earn more respect and move on to their next level of success. 80% of my clients take on more responsibility with less stress, more success, and half of them get a promotion or earn more money within 6 months of completing their program. www.tessagen.com