Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
~ John F. Kennedy
In many industries, the only way to remain competitive is to change – and often change rapidly. As Mark Sanborn once said, “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.” Change doesn’t happen typically by itself, though. Who is going to lead this critical change in your organization?
This is where a Change Leader comes into play!
What is a Change Leader?
A Change Leader is an employee, appointed by the executive sponsor of the change initiative, who provides the daily leadership, coordination and enthusiasm needed for change management. A Change Leader’s normal duties may be scaled back, in order for them to have the time to address the needs of the change management process. Additionally, a Change Leader has the duty and the power to motivate employees at all levels of the organization, to ensure the change project is completed.
How to Develop Change Leaders
There are certain traits that accompany effective Change Leaders. Change Leaders are typically positive and upbeat. They are “do’ers,” taking action when action is needed. They are emotionally stable and do not let the challenges of the job at hand get them down. Effective Change Leaders are open, outgoing and friendly. Lastly, Change Leaders are confident in not only their abilities but also in the projects they adopt, knowing they will succeed!
Following are ways to develop these key traits and create effective Change Leaders in your organization.
Change management training – To be effective, your Change Leader needs to understand the basic principles and theories behind change management. Additionally, they need to be able to utilize the tools and mechanisms that will be important in successfully implementing the change.
Build on natural talents – When selecting which employees to develop into Change Leaders, look at their natural, soft skill sets. Look for those employees who have an optimistic attitude and who like to get involved. Employees who are willing to head up projects and are eager to make a real difference in the company are excellent candidates to develop into Change Leaders!
Use mentors – Form mentor relationships between the developing Change Leader and key executives. This will help them learn what has worked in the past when implementing change, and what hasn’t. Executives can give real world examples of changes that have already been implemented and help them avoid some of the pitfalls.
Network your Change Leaders – Having a network of other organizational Change Leaders a developing Change Leader can learn from and turn to is a significant resource. When challenges or questions arise, being able to turn to other Change Leaders for advice or assistance is invaluable.
In the end, by developing Change Leaders in the organization, you can help ensure changes are implemented as effectively and efficiently as possible, keeping you one step ahead of your competition!
About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert
CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.
Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.