Diana Keith asked:
Crisis situations can define who you are as a leader. Even so, the ability to handle a crisis is chickenfeed compared to the skills involved with preventing one. This valuable expertise separates great leaders from their counterparts and starts with Six Strategic Success Habits every leader needs to know.
Why do some leaders make it, yet others get left behind? Is leadership simply about your capacity to handle or prevent a crisis? Absolutely not: there’s another big reason to consider.
You Have No System to Handle Change
The problems and implications of not having a system to handle change are vast. You’re always playing catching up, feel like the business is running you, and are without enough time to focus on what’s important.
Let’s first look at three common ways leaders react to change:
How do you handle change? Which apply to you and your people?
Crisis Mode: You are in and out of crisis mode, coasting without any kind of system. You spend a lot of time putting out fires, and wondering why the problem was not caught sooner.
Problem Focused: You are concerned and usually implement short-term solutions or band-aid problems. However, your solutions are not directed at the root cause or eliminating future problems, so you often see them resurface again.
Strategic-Success Focused: You have a focused vision, build on to what you know, and put it into action. You evaluate, strategize, redirect, and then proceed.
The big difference between the Strategic-Success Focused leader and the others is they have already made change a habit. This leader has imprinted a clear and effective system for predicting and managing change into their business and team.
Strategic-Success Focused leaders don’t have one crisis after another
Instead, they create a system to handle change. This allows them to focus on what’s really important, whether its driving revenue, creating new products or services, mentoring others, or enjoying the lifestyle their position has afforded them.
Why is this so important?
Because without a way to keep your business and team on track through an environment of change, you’ll continue to waste a lot of time, money, and valuable energy on reinventing the wheel anytime something unexpected comes up.
Next, a cycle of problems seems to begin. The first of which is, how do you end the cycle? Where do you start?
Start with your mindset.
The best way to begin is to transform your mindset from that of crisis mode or problem focused to more of a Strategic-Success Focus with the following Six Success Habits:
Go ahead, mimic the Strategic-Success Focused leader:
1. Make change a habit.
Strategically plan when it’s needed, not just once a year. Use strategy as an ongoing living tool to evaluate and redirect your resources for the greatest impact.
2. Prepare for change.
Hard-wire your decision-making methods to extend beyond present circumstances and forward into future considerations. Keep asking, what will happen next, until you have a set of favorable possibilities. Predicting the future is unlikely, although you can increase your decision-making success rate with a strategic review of possible outcomes.
3. Get excited by change.
Leave behind stalling statements like Yeah but, and replace them with pioneering phrases such as What if? Launch strategic change from a position of partnership across all levels of the organization.
4. Drive growth through change.
When you hear a good idea that will lead to the results you’re after, implement it. When you see something working in your business or department, ask how it happened. Always be thinking about the next step.
5. Create smart systems to handle change.
Automate and simplify what’s working. If it’s not working, ask your subject matter experts (employees) to create a system to streamline and update changes so that routine work is highly efficient. This helps save time and money, and redirects profits upwards. Money spent on doing routine work a different way each time is being wasted.
6. Imprint change as one of your most effective patterns of success.
As a leader, share your vision with your people. Create a visionary memory system so vast that knowledge and understanding are connected throughout your organization and teams.
The Big Message here is to acknowledge where you and your people are in regard to change. Are you ahead of the game every time?
My suggestion: Set a plan in motion to transform your business and team into one that gets extraordinary results amidst change or any challenging backdrop.