Imagine for a moment that it is mid-December in 2022 and you are in a meeting to discuss year-end results with your team. Depending on your role, you might spend the first part of the meeting reflecting together on what happened in 2022 for your team, functional department, and/or the organization as a whole. You might go into the meeting already having a good sense of what team goals for 2023 will be based on 2022 results and your multi-year strategic plan.
As we round the final curve in November bringing us to the end of the journey that was 2021, I’ve found myself reflecting on what I thought would happen vs. what actually did happen this year and how I can adapt my leadership going forward. Like 2020, 2021 certainly wasn’t anything like the year I thought we would have—whether we’re talking about my experiences as a newly published author, my family life, Kadabra, or the wider world.
Two weeks ago I facilitated a very special meeting with my former leadership team. They are some of my favorite people in the world, so anytime we gather to talk business or just to share what is happening in our lives, it feels like time apart from “the usual.” It’s almost as if the rest of the world pauses for just a minute to witness our magical exchange.
If you’ve ever been part of a truly great, cohesive team like ours, you might recognize that sense of pause and wonder. If you haven’t yet, then I’d suggest it’s something to both aspire to and work toward in your career.
This summer was a season of unanticipated changes and transitions for me and for the Kadabra team. Now that we are transitioning into fall, we are individually and collectively forging ahead but we’re taking a new direction with the business and our roles.
You may be familiar with the old saying, “Only two things are certain—death and taxes.” But leaders can update that shortlist with one more certainty—change.
Not all changes are created equal. Some are admittedly much more difficult and unwelcome than others—such as divorce or the death of a loved one. The common denominator for all change, however, is that all human beings tend to process change in much the same way we experience loss. Given that, it makes a lot of sense that we would benefit from some social support as we attempt to navigate change.
Visualize leadership as your favorite muscle group—in my case, quadriceps. Under a certain amount of repetitive stress and pressure, in the form of difficult decisions and conversations, it grows and strengthens. Remove any stress and/or pressure for too long, and it tends to atrophy from disuse.
Unfortunately, too many leaders find handy excuses to continue doing just that. They avoid difficult conversations and challenging people-related decisions in favor of delegating these tasks to HR staff. And, while many HR professionals are incredibly skillful in picking up the slack, that habit doesn’t always serve them, their organizations, or the leaders they are picking up the slack for, well in the long run.
We expect leaders to behave very differently today than we did yesterday. That’s because the problems we’re solving today are different from the ones we were solving yesterday.
Today’s leaders need to unlearn what their role models taught them and replace that with a whole new set of mindsets, skill sets, and behaviors. Unlike previous generations of leaders, it’s not enough to simply follow the example their role models may have set. It’s time for a shift in paradigms for leaders who want to be successful now and into the future.
Organizational change is the process by which companies or other organizations change the way they operate, use technologies, are structured from a people perspective, and adapt to changes in the market.
Essentially, if your organization is in any kind of flux state related to people, products, or operations, you’re dealing with organizational change. And in order to remain relevant, you should have your radar tuned to early signs that a change could benefit the organization.
Many organizational leaders view leadership coaching as a one-off type of investment. It’s expensive, they think, and besides, even if it might be helpful, between a global pandemic, racial reckoning, tons of people resigning, and a lower than typical number of job applicants responding to fill new vacancies, who has time for that right now?
Unfortunately, this is the wrong conclusion to support organizational success today. There are three primary reasons your return on investment (in terms of both time and money) for leadership coaching has never been higher than right now.
All businesses today operate within one or more recognizable ecosystems. Ecosystems look like patterns of regular exchanges between individuals and organizations through which they acquire new customers (lead generation), generate revenue (selling products and services), and reduce their operating expenses (outsourcing, automation, and fractional work arrangements). Exchanges can be information-based, currency-based, or relational. All three types of exchanges can be valuable contributors to your business’s success.