After reflecting upon all of the fascinating conversations and interactions I have been fortunate enough to experience during speeches, workshops, mentoring and consulting engagements during 2018, I would like to share a few insights with you to round the year off …
1. If you can’t change the people, you need to change the people.
Some people are simply not going to make the transition to your new world, no matter how empathetic your leadership style may be. Sometimes people need help to move on and succeed elsewhere. Then the rest of the team can regroup and get on with delivering the change you need.
2. An organisation gets the culture its leaders create.
Your culture is the key to your organisation’s success and your leadership team is entirely responsible for setting – and changing – your culture.
3. Success demands that your people are ready, willing and able to change.
The power to change lies within. Even when big change is done to us, we are not powerless. How we react is completely within our control. Once your people learn this, there will be no stopping them.
4. The power of clarity.
Clarity of purpose, clarity of what you are trying to achieve – and why, clarity of how, clarity of accountabilities, … are all vital. But the critical factor is that these things are clear and relevant to everyone in the organisation.
5. Great leaders are inclusive.
While leaders need to be clear, empathy is a key trait of great leaders. Strong leaders achieve results through their people and the only way to do that is to genuinely understand life from the perspective of others. This involves caring and listening.
6. Great leaders also do six extra things:
- They embrace stewardship. They strive to leave the organisation in a better state than they found it.
- They develop more leaders, not more followers.
- They build extraordinary leadership teams.
- They combine humility with confidence.
- They are not afraid to be themselves.
- They lead change – for if you are not leading change, you are not leading anything; you are just managing the status quo.
In 2019, it will up to us.
The world of politics has failed to live up to the above checklist during 2018. In 2019, it will be up to business to fill the leadership void. It will be up to us to embrace the change and look for opportunities – for the benefit of our organisations, our people and the communities in which we operate.
Bring it on!
31 December 2018