Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Change Is Inevitable

"We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature." – Edmund Burke

As a leader, you are charged with getting results from your organization, meeting or exceeding your goals and objectives, all while positioning yourself and your organization for future success.

Positioning for the future is about seeing what is coming next and reacting to it. It’s about a vision for the future, not based on the past, but based on what is coming next. It’s about preparing for change before you actually know what the change is.

Being a leader means guiding yourself and your team through constant change. You see, progress is not possible without change. Growth is not possible without change. Improved results are not possible without change. For centuries experts have agreed that the only certainties in life are death, taxes….. and change. (With apologies to Ben Franklin.)

Since everyone agrees that change is inevitable, the only question for you is, “Will you be the one driving the change, or will the change run over you?”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

But it is not. One of the fascinating things about working with DISC (see DISC blog entries) is that it helps us to understand not only people's behaviors, but also their goals, motivations, and fears. And within the US population a full 69% of the people have a fear of change.

69% … that’s a lot of people. And guess who they work for?

This means that as you are looking to the future and thinking about next steps, the people who are working for you are thinking about the present and how to keep things going the way they are. They like stability and knowing what is going to happen next. It’s not that their fear of change is an overwhelming, paralyzing fear. Instead it could be described as trepidation over what might go wrong and a desire to make sure that those bad things don’t happen.

For many leaders, they don’t understand this natural fear of change, but they do pick up on the fact that their staff are happy and content with the way things are going and don’t see a need for change. Sometimes this observation leads to a belief that things really are ok the way they are and can sidetrack the leader from doing what needs to be done.

But let us spend a few moments explaining some of the other truisms about change. Because while change is inevitable, and while growth cannot happen without change, that should not imply that ALL change is necessarily good or that change automatically means growth.

It doesn’t.

As the leader, your job is to identify which growth is positive and which is not; which change is necessary and which is not; which change will result in growth and which will not. You must study change, analyze it, and when necessary, embrace it. Making the right decisions on which changes to support and which ones not to support is a delineator between a good leader and a great one.

Making the decisions on change will determine whether you are driving the change and being the leader, or if you will be a bystander and be run over by it.

At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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