Leading through Change & Chaos
This article addresses how to successfully lead through transformation, change and chaos.
We have seen tremendous challenges to our individual and professional spaces. We’ve seen very large organizations either fall or pivot very quickly in order to survive all of this.
Due to popular demand, we’ve discussed the important steps that an organization should take to increase diversity. In the second week, I shared a step by step approach that organizations should take to re-engage their teams from the dismantling caused by Covid-19. It seemed most appropriate to address Leading through Transformational Change this week.
While I’ve worked with leaders to effectively lead through unexpected change and desired transformation for more than 15 years. 2020 has been an unprecedented year in my career and lifetime as well. We know that change is constant. We should have already known that Adapting to Change and Leading Change are among the top important leadership competencies. Given recent events, most would agree leading through change is not one of the top leadership competencies, but the most important leadership competency. The ability to lead effectively through change assumes that you can adapt your leadership style and decisions quickly to reflect the current needs of the organization and the marketplace.
There are 10 steps to Leading through Change in my Change Leadership Model. For the sake of brevity, I’ll review four of them in this vlog.
- is to Continuously Learn. This step is a step that should start before, during and after major changes. When changes arises, even leaders are humbled in what they often do not know. The more abreast that leaders stay to the needs of the market as well as new skillsets and
tools in their industries, the more adaptable they are when unexpected changes occurs. Remote leadership and operation is a prime example. There were some leaders who insisted upon mastering remote leadership prior to Covid-19. For those leaders, the process of
transferring their team to a remote one was far less stressful then for those who were doing it for the first time. Telecommuting had been a growing trend. However, many organizations were not prepared with the right technology tools, leadership skillsets or processes to make it
- is Sharing Your Leadership. Even in the slowest of environments, hoarding leadership stifles
individual growth and organizational growth. Driving change can be a full-time job in itself.
When a leader is driving change, there should be an understanding that responsibilities will
need to be shared. Also, when leadership is shared, it creates an ability for many of the leaders’
efforts to be multiplied. This expedites the time required to get things done as well as the
power of the impact. Leadership should already be shared prior to a crisis in order to provide
greater immediate leadership impact to the team. Otherwise, team members may not be
skillfully prepared to share leadership, when needed, during a time of a crisis.
During a crisis, there isn’t time for an excessive number of meetings. Leaders must use swift courage to make important decisions or else opportunities will be lost. Things that need attention will be abandoned. These points are true even outside of a crisis. A leader has the responsibility to have the courage to make decisions. That does not mean that every decision will be a quick one. However, leaders generally should be able to know the right questions to ask, the correct information to obtain and to assess information more quickly.
- Should go without saying. However, communicate intentionally and often. During significant change, those who follow you are grasping at every word that you say. Therefore, ensure that there is a strategy regarding what you speak. Not to contradict that but communicate even when you don’t know. It is ok to say that you do not know. That is better then saying nothing. In silence, stakeholders will make up their own script. Employees will make up their own script. In silence, stakeholders assume the worst.
- is to remain loyal to your principles. Principles/values are practices that are the correct choice of action regardless of the context or the situation. If there is a value that a company feels comfortable abandoning during a crisis, then it should not be a value that they profess at all. When team members see a leader maintaining the principles and values during change or a crises that they profess prior to the events, it provides safety and security for the team.
While there are more steps to effectively leading change, I hope that you have found value in reviewing those four. Next week, I’ll be sharing information regarding a Modern Leadership program that I will be offering. The roles and responsibilities of leaders in this modern world quite contrast those of yesterday. The program will develop leaders to be effective Nextgen Leaders.
Competency modules will include:
• Master First, Leading Yourself. Do You Lead Your Self as Well as You Think You Do?
• Master Your Vision and Influence Others. Can Your Vision Positively Influence in the
• Master Leading Others through Transformational Change and Global Expansion.
• Master Leading in a Remote Environment and Measuring for Success.
• Master High Performance Cultures.
• Master Developing Future Leaders.
• Master Leading Diverse Teams.
• Master Technology for Leaders. What Does Technology Have to Do with Your
• Bonus: Master Your Executive Presence. What Story Are You Telling Others Through
Your Executive Presence?
These modules were developed based upon the most important leadership competencies of this modern era and feedback regarding leadership development that is most desired. Look out for that information coming soon…
If you find this information interesting or helpful, please share it with others.
If you need coaching or know someone who does, do take advantage of a complimentary consultation with me to explore fit for leadership transformation.
Have a great day!
Team Dr. Lepora