CCL’s John McGuire says four general attitudes are common reasons why many managers, leaders and executives shrink back from leading change and, instead, focus on managing operations.
You may have heard these attitudes among your coworkers or colleagues, or fallen victim to them yourself. Learn what these four are so you can stay focused on leading change, rather than just managing change, in your organization.
- “Just Let George Do It.” This attitude allows everyone to pass the buck to someone else. Leadership gets deferred as people wait for some transformational, powerful person to show the way, make the tough decisions and protect everyone else. You have worked too hard to just give away your hard-earned power. Instead, stand up and lead.
- “Yes, But.” Another common attitude is “Yes! I will lead change — but I want to control how it turns out.” You often feel reluctant to give other people real space to create change or to find new ways to process and respond to the change that is around them. You may think that if you let go of control, you will be opening up Pandora’s Box.
- “Either-Or.” The challenge is too big and there’s not enough time. You may be too busy with operational changes and making the numbers — managing change — that there isn’t time for the people side — leading change. You may think you have to do just one or the other, and that you can’t do both at once.
- “Are We There Yet?” Impatience gets in the way of leading change. You want to know how long your organizational change will take and frequently ask how much further you have to go. But lasting, meaningful change takes time and serious intention.
Have you ever fallen into any of these attitudes? How were you able to turn that attitude around so that you could lead change rather than just manage it?