This is a big question. And a crucial one.
The management and leadership heavyweights Drucker, Bennis, Kotter and others have all had their say on this crucial topic.
And mostly they agree: Managers maintain, leaders change.
It is not a question of change or not change, it’s a constant question of what are we changing?
Tom Peters is very specific. He asks: what are we changing today? And even: what we changing right now?
To provoke, cause and lead change we need to clearly present the case for innovation and difference.
While writing reports and emails clearly helps, and working one-on-one with your team is also crucial, this is not enough.
At some point, a leader needs to address groups of people. This might be a small group in everyday meetings or to larger groups at special events.
A leader doesn’t need to be a keynote presenter. It’s likely you’ll typically be presenting for only 5-10 minutes at a time. Sometimes you’ll have the chance to prepare and at others it will be a case of stand up and deliver.
- Can you do this?
- Can you do this comfortably?
- And most importantly, can you do this effectively?
One of the big mistakes that leaders make in inciting change is that they spend too much time describing the change and not enough time creating a new world that people can step into.
For example, the case for change is presented as a bunch of numbers (usually dollars) and a series of tasks that need to be completed.
In contrast, a leader describes what is possible from making this change – what opportunities will open up? And specifically, how this will make people think and feel in new ways?
Remember, Martin Luther King’s famous speech was ‘I have a dream’ and not ‘I have a plan’.
We’ll be practicing inciting change in this way in our Influential Presenting workshop in January.
PS: Wine. Lunch. Books. Coffee. Networking. Fun. Prizes. Join us at our next event – a double book launch lunch.