Change is the only constant in our world today.
If I look at great leaders over the last century the one characteristic that links them all is their ability to actively lead change. Regardless of age, sex, religion or culture, these people are change makers;
Pope Francis has energised the worldwide catholic church changing the direction and setting clear examples to the devoted. As a revolutionary change enabler he is uniting the church through some turbulent times.
Bill Clinton, in his post-presidential career has been an advocate and change agent for social change; he is persuading world leaders to commit to a number of projects around HIV/Aids, malaria and greenhouse gas emissions.
Malala Yousafzai, this young Pakistani schoolgirl wrote blogs defending a female’s right to education and was shot by Taliban aboard her school bus. After her recovery, she continued to push for change and is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize.
Great leaders need to make change happen not merely talk about it. There is much rhetoric and its seems too many leaders participate in social media debates instead of actually making changes.
So, you want to be a change leader … here some ideas of characteristics of a leader who makes change happen:
- Recognising that as a leader you are not the sole agent of change. The people you hire, the people around you, should encompass the ethos of change. This enables a culture of innovation and change.
- Stretching your boundaries. Move out from the comfortable circle of advisors, cross both generational and cultural boundaries to learn new ideas from people who are different from you.
- Be focused on the value your business brings to your target audience. It’s not about profit but value, value to the people who interact with your products and services. You personally need to connect with these people, feel their passions, their needs, their joys, their sorrows. Be aware of the changes that are happening in the real world.
- Be entrepreneurial, actively seek out new horizons, new markets. Be disruptive. Holding onto the values, the technologies, the markets of today with suffocate any business, no matter how big or small.
These qualities are not for CEO’s but for each and every person, no matter what role you currently play. You have the ability to be a leader, to show leadership qualities, to be an agent of change.
When was the last time you stepped back and really took stock of your leadership qualities? Have you got the right people around you, including your friends and advisers, to help you navigate the world as it is today and as it will be tomorrow?