...has your Business Model?
Leadership is about managing change and there is no more significant change requiring authentic leadership in recent history as now. We still see many businesses large and small not coping well with the necessary changes needed to keep their businesses viable. A vast majority of companies must continue to leverage their ability to change on their own and reach into the leadership tool kit for some never before used tools.
Understanding how to manage change involves first recognizing that a change is needed. Recognizing the skills and knowledge that brought your business to this point may not, will not guarantee your success going forward. More importantly, has your attitude changed with the new economic reality? What are you customers asking for now? What are your suppliers telling you now? What are your own sales and operations people saying about their ability to succeed now? What is your Vision? Under normal circumstances, a Vision is what would help direct the organization during times of change. As these are the "new normal" times, having an organizational Vision is even more critical to the success of a business. Every business needs a sense of direction and I would go so far as to suggest the reason many small and mid-sized businesses are stalled is the absence of a clear Vision.
It is not enough to just have a Vision. It must be communicated openly and frequently to the rest of the organization as well as to suppliers and customers. Leadership during change requires a communication strategy second to none to ensure all organizations contributing to your business success are on the same page. However, this requires the business leader to be transparent and authentic. Transparency requires the leader to be frank and honest about what is going on in the business and effectively communicate where the business is going. Authenticity means being a leader whom those associated with the business can trust. The leader during times of change and challenge must be credible and the rules of what a credible leader is in this economy are uncompromising. You cannot be credible through taking a pill or getting a shot. You cannot gain it by submitting to a surgical procedure. It comes from your attitude and your heart. Your credibility comes from your ability to execute the actions necessary to lead without looking in the rear view mirror!
In my experience, there are two types of leaders during times of challenge and change. The first are those who stall and wait for change to happen. They are playing not to lose. The others are those who drive forward continuously with a purpose to achieve their Vision. They are playing to win! The first types can become victims of change and react accordingly. The second types are true leaders and are rewarded accordingly.
Which are you?
Lead, and Change, Well!