As I look back on the various relationships that I have had with different leaders, I can count the effective ‘agents of change’ on one hand.
Most leaders are so involved in ‘putting out fires’ or ‘maintaining what they have’, that they really don’t have time to initiate and orchestrate change correctly.
Let me give you the four biggest mistakes these preoccupied leaders make when they try to bring about change just because they don’t take the time to plan it out carefully.
1. They appear to have to be right. They don’t have time to discuss this thing. They have to move now and they have to do it their way to be sure it is done right. That usually means they speak first and loudest, dominating the conversation. It means they end up making most the decisions. They dare not lose control. Their time management suffers.
2. They appear totally inflexible. They might as well shout ‘Don’t confuse me with facts!’. They love those who agree with them and shun those who find problems with their ideas. They have tunnel vision and can only see their solution. They have very poor listening skills.
3. They lose their sense of humor. Constructive criticism becomes the enemy. Those who do not appear to be totally in agreement are often viewed as disloyal to them. Little setbacks become major issues because they don’t have time to do things right.
4. Their organizational skills suffer. Because it is often their idea, they feel like they have to ‘carry the ball’. Some times their honesty is questioned. Accountability at all levels becomes an issue. Sometimes they become far too impulsive to an easy route.
Change requires effective leadership and team work. When it is done right, it is a beautiful thing.