What do leaders do? The list is long; but in a nutshell, leaders enable positive transformation. Success in business requires leaders to be able to impact and engage people to join in important work that produces forward movement with positive effect. In other words, leaders drive real and profound positive change. The problem is, it’s not always positive change. It’s our job to ensure that it is.
When we think about leading positive transformation we think about the organization. Great! That’s where our attention should go first. It’s our job to move the organization from point A to point B over and over again. Sometimes it’s a short trip; other times it’s a huge undertaking. To lead positive organizational transformation involves setting a vision and strategy and building and executing a smart execution plan.
Many clients we work with ask us to help them as they work to align around a clear vision, strategy, and plan. In almost every case, they want to declare victory before they are done. They’ve set a vision. They’ve decided a strategy. They’ve built a sound execution plan. And, they’re only part way done.
Positive organizational transformation won’t happen unless leaders also focus simultaneously and continuously on people transformation. It is a role of leadership to enable people to move from groups to high performing teams. It would be great if this happened automatically. And, it doesn’t. It would be great if we could delegate it. And, we can’t. Leaders must set the example.
The way leaders set the example for moving from interacting as groups to engaging as high performing teams is through a third positive transformation for which the leader is responsible. Leaders are responsible for modeling self-transformation. We have to be intentional about our leadership and move ourselves from leading by default to leading by design. Our example of self-transformation engages the people around us to follow our example or self-select out. Either way, our example is positively transforming our people and our organization.
When we widen our focus to transform ourselves, our people as well as our organization, we balance our strategy and increase the likelihood for success. Our organizational strategies live or die through the efforts of our people. Leaders enable positive transformation. Positive organizational transformation depends upon our ability to transform our people and our commitment to transforming ourselves. Over and over again. It’s what leaders do.