If a leader doesn’t commit to transformation, the business is doomed to stagnate.
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Many leaders today provide a great amount of knowledge via consulting, proposals and even promotional giveaways such as ebooks or how-to video tutorials. While the advice and techniques offered may serve as potential guidance for how individuals in leadership positions can potentially grow in their expertise, the actual ratio of those who truly practice what they preach may surprise you.
There’s a great difference between leaders who do well simply because they have followed a blueprint that has worked for years versus those who often take the time to study the shifts and advancements of businesses or brands. Leaders who create the energy and effort it takes to develop and progress further will eventually begin to see more results, perhaps through an increase in client base, transactions, purchasing frequency or the overall growth of a brand and company.
Ultimately, it’s important to understand the role of a leader. This individual must drive transformation. A leader is a manager, an executive, a principal, a chairman, a high-level city official — someone who inspires, advises and prepares and someone who encourages the new and improved perspective that you must have to witness true progression. A leader understands that to advance in an ever-changing industry, there must be a transformation from the old models to the new. To be an enforcer of change, one must also be a visionary of the future.
What is an enforcer of change?
This is an individual whose primary goal is to create actions that support the transformation from the old vision to the new. He or she has a direct influence within the organization through people, operations, procedures and lifestyle habits. Some examples of how an enforcer of change would promote and develop the vision may include:
- Making an impact by way of example and actions.
- Developing strategies, practices and consistent action plans that are aligned with promoting future growth of the company or brand.
- Encouraging adjustments and pivots when the need presents itself either to avoid challenges or to promote opportunities for growth.
What’s interesting about many individuals who hold leadership positions is that they might have seen data proving how a shift in procedures or operations could generate a huge difference toward the growth of the company, but, even with the proof staring right at them, they still refuse to take that leap of faith because they fear the unknown.
But some leaders avoid using their own advice when it comes to the company or brand they represent. There are several potential reasons:
- Pride. Some leaders just have a difficult time accepting their old blueprint is outdated. A stubborn unwillingness to consider conversing about a more modern approach when it comes to improving a company’s future could not only limit possibility but stunt the potential for growth.
- Contentment. Sometimes holding a level of certainty provides what some may refer to as a “security blanket” for a business’s position. This, as a result, can prevent a leader from becoming actively involved, even if the shifts of operation were recommended by him or her. While it may appear as if there is intent to transform the company, the lack of willpower and consistent effort reveals otherwise.
- Limited perspective. The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is one of the key reasons behind leaders who are so used to doing things a certain way; they simply don’t have an interest in learning something new. Even if given considerable options, regardless of the ease or difficulty in testing other alternatives, they’ll find themselves suggesting the old strategies that worked in the past.
- Fear of the unknown. Some leaders fear what could potentially go wrong too much to take that leap of faith that could result in exponential growth. Instead, this type of leader often focuses on the negative aspects of change rather than the positives.
- Ignorance. With the internet being so easily accessible, there has been an increasing amount of white labeling or taking information from valid sources and passing it off as one’s own. Many leaders do this simply for recognition as an expert in their field or for a sense of validation; they need to ensure they are leading in a fashion that meets the status quo for their company. The issue then lies in the inability to deliver the true blueprint and instructions effectively due to a lack of understanding. While they appear to have all the answers on how to transform the company on paper, when it comes to actional deliverables, they lack in more ways than one.
Fundamentally, the leader holding these types of traits simply cannot be an enforcer of change as he or she lacks commitment to transform his or her own beliefs, therefore making such a leader highly unlikely to transform a company or brand, especially for the long haul.
How a leader can become an enforcer of change
To become an enforcer of change, you must be one with everything that comes with making the transformation genuine to one’s mind, body and spirit. Here are some examples of how one can incorporate certain characteristics and traits to help promote a full transformation simply by practicing the power of consistency:
- Focus on baby steps. Small, consistent measures of change equal progress. You don’t have to figure out how to run before you even begin to crawl or walk. Consistency is what holds true to calculated results.
- Be committed to learning and adjusting. Leaders who are open to problem-solving rather than quitting will train their mindset to become sharper and more precise when tackling potential issues that arise. This will, in turn, increase better judgment and quick decision making, which is necessary to transform a company or brand.
- Focus more on being a team player rather than a competitor. Just because you are a leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Allow collaborations, suggestions and your team to play a significant role in the advancement of the company or brand.
- Listen more. Some of the best leaders listen often and talk less. Considering the opinions and advice of others can allow room for avoiding potential issues that may not have been foreseen or accounted for, which ultimately increases the growth potential and makes the team stronger.
- Constantly look for ways to improve, not only for yourself, but also for the team and company. Even if the company or brand appears to be doing well, improvement in any area should always be considered.
- Learn to communicate without emotion. Many times, a leader can let emotions get in the way. If he or she learns to control emotions, this creates a balance for both maintaining a personal relationship with his or her team and helping scale and transform the company and brand.
A leader must commit. It starts with the mindset and willingness to transform old habits into new ones — old paths into new, unknown journeys that can lead to both discomfort and breakthrough while simultaneously learning from mistakes and embracing the wins. If these key elements are practiced, understood and accepted into one’s new regimen for success, both the leader’s and company’s options for growth become limitless.