Lots to learn about leadership that applies to managing effective change from this wonderful video snippet from 4-star US General Stanley McChrystal.

Key Point #1:

“Leaders spend time building trust with their teams, ensuring their teams have faith in their leaders”

As leaders instituting change, there will be occasions where we choose not to be completely “open” about the reasons for change in our communications with our teams. This could either be because it is deemed more “detrimental” to the team’s morale to do so than not to do so or maybe we simply do not have the information to share at that time. There will also be times when you need to tell your team “I need you to trust me on this but I need you to stay focused now, in spite of seeming uncertainties.” In moments like these, whether or not our team “checks out” or stays motivated depends on the level of faith and trust they have in you, their leader. Adaptability is not something you build overnight – but through consistent reaching out to your team members to strengthen trust and their faith in your leadership.

Key Point #2:

“Build consensus, a sense of shared purpose”

As much as possible, instead of telling your team “We are doing this. This is what we need you to do….”, communicate like this:

“Here is the reality of the situation we’re in.” .

“Given this situation, what are the consequences of NOT changing, i.e. keeping the status quo? We cannot change the environment we are in, but we can certainly choose our response. What’s IDEAL in this situation?”

Key Point #3

“When your team is full of different generations – different values, different vocabularies – it becomes even more important for leaders to be even more transparent, a lot more willing to listen, a willingness to be “reverse mentored”.

So true. We now have teams that often span three generations – post-WW2 baby boomers, Gen-X and Gen-Y. Each has a different set of values and vocabularies. The Gen-X and Gen-Y in particular do not respond particularly well to “it’s my way or the highway” leadership styles. More than ever, in facilitating change, use coffee sessions, think-tanks, consult with “key” personnel, not just those in positions of authority but also those who resonate “emotionally” and thus have influence over stakeholders. Be open with them about the reality, seek their thoughts about options moving ahead, and when a decision has been made, enlist their support to be powerful ambassadors of the change.

Key Point #4

“A leader isn’t good because he’s right, a leader is great because they’re willing to learn and willing to trust”

Thought I’d add this one in just because I love it!! It reminds us that to lead change, it’s not about being “right”, but being “effective” and getting buy-in and consensus are so critical to making it effective!

Make this the most outstanding day you deserve!

To your Success,