The only constant in life is change. Leading is all about change, so if you want to be an effective leader, you need to be good at change.
1. Be the change you want to see in others. With thanks to Gandhi, we need to demonstrate to others that we are not above changing. Often leaders get frustrated that others won’t or can’t seem to change. My advice is to look in the mirror and start with you.
2. Be really certain that the change is needed and be able to clearly justify why. People won’t come with you if they can’t see why the change is needed. You need to be able to mount a compelling case in support of the change. Link it to either your strategic direction or adding value to the customer, or both. If you can’t, ask yourself why you are doing it.
3. Describe exactly what success looks like. Before you start, work out what you want. What is your vision once the change is successfully implemented? Use this picture to convince others to come with you.
4. Understand and overcome resistance to the change. Who might resist the change and how might they resist it? How can you overcome this resistance? Usually, if you get the first three steps right (listed above), resistance will be minimal. But as a rule, involving people in designing and implementing the change works better than just announcing it to them.
5. Measure the change and anchor it. What gets measured gets done. Monitor the change and make adjustments if needed. If you take your focus off the change it is likely that things will go back to the old way. Once the change has been proven successful, anchor it. Make it the way you do things.
Bonus Tip: Start small, pilot or test things before completely committing. Chances are you will learn things from the test run. Once it looks like the change will work, ramp it up.