The days of hotshot superficial change makers will be getting over soon in organisation’s, that hold vision of sustainable growth. The VUCA world brings on new challenges for all leaders. It brings in a new level of integrity, humility and comfort with uncertainty that a leader must learn. This written piece discusses ‘that’ essential shift in leadership role.
Whenever leaders take over an organisation or department, they come with their own ideas and ideologies. They usually look at themselves as change agents and recruit change agents, and send across the message that- change is needed.
Change is needed- creates some amount of nervous energy in the organisation, it creates gossip corners and dis honouring of what has been working well in the organisation. Everyone focuses on what is not working and that change is needed. The sense it creates is we are ‘not good enough‘. However suddenly now the leader seems like a messiah, the one who will bring about this change. It is feel good factor for the leader and the organisation. This is like a good soak in warm water bath, makes you feel good but doesn’t transform you. The transformation that is being sought will be illusive. The whole process can be energising in the short term but long term highly energy draining for the organisation.
When looking at a business, department or an organisation, the first role a Leader should take is that of a student. The Leader should unlearn all that she knows, open her mind to the observance of value and culture, that is inherent to the organisation. Become aware of how the values and culture have positively impacted the organisation and what energises the organisation. When the leader focuses on what is already working in the organisation and the elements that have been positively energising it, towards growth, she starts to appreciate what is already present and give it the honouring that it needs. She starts to learn, and that is the seed to a learning organisation.
The secret of transformation of an organisation lies in this honouring of “What is positive and present” not in “What is wrong and What change is needed”. From this seed of “What is positive and present” arises a self-aware and confident organisation that knows its strengths and is motivated to move in the direction of a collective vision. In this organisation there is more collective responsibility and not one messiah.
Studentship is inculcated in an appreciative culture and everyone from the leader up top to the leader holding the frontline, all learn and grow.
As I write this the thought of “Am I being and idealist?” comes to me. I say, we never reach the idealism we seek, however, If we move in the ideal direction, it will make us grow more of what we want to grow into.