Oct 31 2017
Moving up the management ladder: leadership and change

No matter how far up the management ladder you are, you’ll deal with a range of issues and challenges. This blog is the last of a three part series covering some of the common questions and problems faced during each level of management. You can read the first two posts here.

As your management role evolves into a leadership role, there will be even more challenges and opportunities coming your way. Your team will look to you for guidance, particularly during periods of change. Here are a few key things to ensure that your efforts to make a change don’t fail.

1. Establish a sense of urgency

There are a number of personality types, and everyone deals with change differently. However, if the change has no sense of urgency your team won’t see it as important and it’ll end up being put on the backburner. In order for change to succeed, 75% of senior managers need to be convinced that the change is needed. If there’s no urgency, they won’t be convinced.

2. Create a powerful coalition

Change in organisations, particularly large ones, can’t happen if only one or two people support it. Instead, you should have a solid group of change champions who make the need for change feel more widespread. This group will be a great foundation for your project to develop on.

3. Have a vision and communicate it well

Sceptics won’t be jumping on the change champion bandwagon any time soon if you don’t have a clear vision! You need to be able to explain it clearly and confidently, and remind your team of your objectives on a regular basis. Name it, explain it, and reinforce it!

4. Remove obstacles

Nothing changes if everything stays the same, so there will come a time when you will need to remove the obstacles that are standing in between you and your vision. Sometimes it is systems, and sometimes it is people, but it’s important to think long term.

5. Anchor your changes and don’t declare victory too soon!

Change only sticks once it becomes “the way we do things round here”, and if you take the pressure off before this point you can expect teams to quickly revert back the old ways. Keep enforcing the change until it becomes embedded in the company’s culture, but not before then.

Want to develop your leadership skills? Take a look at our Moving from manager to leader course.

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