How and Why Leaders Should Become Change Agents
In any company, the happiness and well being of every employee depends largely on the leadership style of those above them. Leaders often need to make sure that the guidance they provide not only falls in line with company values, but also keeps employees focused on long-term company goals. Your Story’s feature on leadership management practices, details how the best leaders are the ones who combine company values with guidance in order to become change agents. Change agents go beyond what is expected of them in order to motivate their team or business. At the heart of every change agent is the recognition that in order to succeed positive change is necessary.
In order to become an agent of change for their employees, leaders need to be able to constantly change and improve themselves. Maryville University discussed on their organizational leadership degree page how a good leader will “seek additional skills to continue advancing”. This shows a shift in how today’s leaders are being taught to manage compared to more traditional and rigid methods of the past. In today’s fast paced world, many of the old practices that worked yesterday can do more harm than good. A good leader is more than someone who just simply does their job, but rather they recognize that learning is a lifelong process and that innovation is the key to staying competitive. They make the extra effort to lift those they are in charge of to greater heights.
A poor leader who isn’t interested in positive change will simply monitor and nit-pick their employee’s work. Leaders also need to provide guidance in times of change, whether it is due to corporate restructuring or new business procedures. Ian Linton from Chron.com notes the importance of communication and inter-personal skills to encourage employees. He believes that “managers must make themselves available to answer questions or discuss individuals’ concerns.” This will moderate any fears about any new challenges. The best leaders can break down the effects of new changes and explain them clearly.
Effective change agents are also skillful at expressing empathy and connecting on a personal level with their employees. Whereas traditional managers have a tendency to view individuals as inherently self-serving and think removing personal blockers is good management, change agents have a different view. The article ‘The Manager and the Change Agent’ published on Hackernoon explains that change agents understand that most problems in the workplace are symptoms of tension, a lack of clarity and a lack of freedom to express one’s self. Thus, change agents have different goals and are able to come up with effective solutions. They make sure that everyone’s voice is heard and that solutions are worked through with both teams and individuals to bring out the best in them.
In the February 28 newsletter that we sent out we looked at how a CEO changed from just doing his job, to being his job. The CEO shifted his focus to “lifting people out of their petty preoccupations, carrying managers above the judgments, labels and constructs that divide all, [and] diminishing conflict.” As a leader, he understood that he had to change with the times and become an agent of change himself. A good example of how a leader can self improve if they want to.
Article specially written for TheBraudisGroup.Com
By: Nancy Nicola
Tags: Change Agent, Continual growth, positive change