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Dr Mats tip of the day - 043 - Leading through Disruption

So you are about to lead a change that is unpopular, one that staff are unlikely to have considered, one that customers or other stakeholders may be skeptical about. In a Disruption environment changes may occur regularly, with little warning - not always popular or endorsed.

You may now be questioning how will you make this change? or will you try at all if the odds are stacked against the new direction ?

To attempt unpopular change you will need to read up on and embrace your leadership skills.

Managers may prefer to make change by publishing edicts and plans - expecting staff and other stakeholders to just comply - yet it is unlikely in todays environment that people will respond if that is your approach.

Leadership requires coercion, explanation, compelling reason, listening, critical thinking, strategy, engagement, adjustment and responding - although your stakeholders will unlikely be open to any of those points unless they have Trust.

Leadership is so much more than just a title or a position, it is a real skill that can be developed and learned (sure some may be better than others), not just a skill of the extrovert or the well educated.

Leadership is about influencing the team towards where you would like them to go, they have a choice to follow and embrace or to sit back and watch or to actively resist. Those with high levels of leadership qualities will create a need for people to follow that is logical, that can be followed and supported - yet people also want genuine input into the direction and the way to get their. So Leaders need to be pragmatic in this influence, being able to communicate a clear message about where and why things are changing.

Leaders may inspire teams based on trust and engagement - people may perceive you as a great leader if they feel that they are being listened to, that they have influence. People will want to hear concise and compelling reasons to change.

All too often leaders may shy away from leading change in this sense, preferring to agree on a change and step away, leaving the change to managers alone. Managing is more about resources, plans, actions and getting things done - whilst these are important to change, the manager may not always influence and get to the heart and minds of those involved. To make change Leader or leadership is required by some one, in many forms - without the leadership ingredient your change may well under-perform of fail !

In a Disruption environment leaders will be required to have more skill in this area, be able to explain and influence more change (even if it is in opposite directions and without notice). Leaders of the future must act quickly and yet have time to listen and engage, be able to work in uncertainty and risk.

Consider hiring leaders now with additional skills ready for Disruption ! avoid the lost opportunities of having managers without the leadership skills required.

If you are a Leader or seeking to be one in the future - you need to read, read, read about Disruption NOW ! Those that fail to understand and adjust will fall behind.

Feel free to ask Dr Mat over a chat or email on Leadership, Management or change issues, advice, consulting or mentoring that you may seek.

These and other related topics feature in Dr Mats book titled "Leading and Managing Change in the Age of Disruption and Artificial Intelligence" - written for the modern professional, student and academic - anyone wanting to be ahead on modern Leadership and Management issues.

Available through Amazon (kindle version out now, hard copy can now be purcahsed) - . This book has been strongly endorsed - so use this link to review the endorsements, or to preview Chapter 1, table of contents and the preface from Amazon (kindle version button) - consider buying this book or recommend it to professional colleagues or friends/family, students and academics.

Dr Mat is also on Twitter - @DrMat14

Consider your own specific situation and seek professional advice before acting directly in reaction to any of the tips on this website, they are intended as general advice only.

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