4 behaviors of leaders who embrace change
If there’s one truth we all know, it’s that change is inevitable. However, in recent years, the pace of change has accelerated. That means that as a leader, you’ll need to be able to thrive in an ever-evolving environment.
For some, adapting to—or even taking advantage of—progress comes naturally. But if you find yourself not knowing how to navigate different circumstances or even reluctant to adapt, it’s time to start working proactively on your ability to evolve. If you don’t, you’ll inevitably get left behind.
Keep these behaviors of leaders who embrace change in mind:
- Make change-thinking a part of everything you do. This means thinking about the status quo, what factors are affecting it, how it’s likely to change, how it could change—and how you can adapt to thrive in a changing environment. For example, if you manufacture apparel, but your sales have plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ask yourself if you can repurpose your machines and materials so your employees can make face masks instead.
- Have a clear purpose. It’s important to know why you’re doing something. Using the same example as above, your purpose is to keep your business running and create job stability for your employees. Maybe it’s also to help consumers in case there’s a shortage of face masks again. No matter what your purpose is, make sure it’s authentic and meaningful—and communicate it to your team. When they understand the why, they’ll be much more likely to support you.
- Seek and seize opportunities. Keep looking to the future—to what’s likely to happen and what could happen. It’s also important to look outside your normal environment to see if there are any developments or trends that could impact your industry. Once you recognize an opportunity, seize it. You never know when the next one might come along.
- Discard old, ineffective processes and models. “How we’ve always done things around here” isn’t always the best way to operate. Many companies were resistant to allowing remote work—until the pandemic hit. Now, those same companies see their people using Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams and functioning just as well—or even better—than when they were all in one office together.
Keep in mind that to find new, successful ways of doing things, you need to perform a certain amount of experimentation. It’s the only way to spark creativity and find those magical combinations when something just works—whether it’s a new process, product, or business model. Of course, you should determine ahead of time what level of risk is acceptable—because there will be times that your experiments don’t pan out.
The more you practice these behaviors, the more adaptable and agile you’ll become. And that’s precisely what you, your team, and your company need as you move forward during this rapidly evolving time.
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