We are living in a world that is volatile, uncertain and, for many of us, almost unrecognizable from the one we grew up in. Things are constantly changing and effective change management leadership is essential for the success of any company.

Good leaders are no longer dictators who tell their subordinates what to do and expect it to be done, without question. That’s old school. Now it is time to focus on change management and leadership that enables your business to excel through adaptation and innovation.

Traits of Good Leaders

Good leaders all have certain traits in common. These usually include farsightedness, passion, courage, wisdom, generosity, and trustworthiness. We instinctively recognize these traits in others and that is why the de facto leaders in an organization are not always the ones appointed from the top, but rather the ones we choose to follow. But having the right traits is not enough, you need to know how to apply them.

What does it take to lead effectively in a fast-changing environment?

Innovation and Adaptation

Effective change management leadership helps individuals, teams, and organizations move from their current position to their desired position. It takes them from good to great. To achieve this, change management leaders need to be able to adapt to their environment and build organizations that are innovative and adaptable.

You need to provide solid guidance to allow team members to showcase their unique talents, and apply their skills for the advancement of the entire group. It is important to empower team members to not merely accept change, but to embrace it. Team dynamics need to be fluid, and team members with the necessary skills for a project need to be able to confidently step up and lead the group in the right direction. Innovative change management means managing talent, recognizing skills, sharing credit, and doing what’s best for the team, not the individual.

Openness to New Ideas

A good leader doesn’t have all the answers, all the time. A critical change management leadership skill is being able to admit when you’re wrong. This is not a sign of weakness or lack of confidence in your ideas, it just means that you know you can’t be right all the time and that’s fine. Admitting that your ideas might not be the best ones, ensures that you remain open and receptive to innovative ways of thinking. It gives team members the confidence to put forward some of their more out-of-the-box ideas, knowing that they will be considered and discussed, and even if they are flawed, it won’t count against them.

How to be a good change management leader

  • Surround yourself with the right team. Good leaders know they can’t go it alone and they value the contributions of others. An effective team needs a combination of seasoned experts, support players, and wildcards.
  • Be self-aware and prepared to grow. You can’t facilitate change and growth in others if you aren’t prepared to grow and adapt yourself.
  • Demonstrate Intellectual Humility. Accept that you don’t know everything and strive to learn more. Examine information critically and be receptive to the ideas of others.

Good change management leadership is not about having all the answers, it’s about being able to lead a team to find the answers. It means inspiring confidence in others and creating an environment where people think innovatively about the opportunities offered by change rather than fearing the consequences. A good leader will help people see how change today can be better for everyone tomorrow.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick