I regularly speak with people who are recognized as up-and-coming leaders by their businesses, and they agree with what I have to say: Leaders must change first for lasting change to take hold.
Then they often respond with something like this: “Well, my leaders aren’t willing to change, so I don’t see how that can work here. We’ll never be able to change our organization.”
My response usually goes something like this:
- I’m glad we agree that our organization’s people won’t change unless leaders model the change. Unless they listen Get their hands dirty. Pull, rather than push.
- We certainly can feel uninspired when our own leaders don’t walk the talk, and I’m happy to share some concepts that can help us change their mindsets over time.
- Now let’s think about our own people, the ones we’ve been given responsibility to lead. Who are they following? We might want to think they’re following our Truth is, they’re really following us. Because we are their leader.
- If we agree that our own organization’s people won’t change unless their leaders do, and we are their leaders, isn’t it time to break the cycle of bad leadership and start leading?
- Otherwise, aren’t we just being complicit in our own leaders’ bad leadership? Aren’t we letting the cycle continue?
So, who are our people following? What do we want to teach them about leadership?
After all, this is all we truly can control.
What’s exciting is—by doing leadership right—we can influence those beneath us, our peers and those above us. We’re seen as leaders—not just people in leadership positions—and others (including our bosses) look to us to lead them.
Let me know what you think. I look forward to being in touch.