She’d wanted the role for her entire career. She fought worthy competitors to finally lay hold of the prize. Then she stormed into the place dead set on revolutionizing the world and doing more than any predecessor had before.
She’s a television character of a long running show, but her expectations and reactions rang true to me. Not only have I hard charged into a leadership role before, but I’ve seen others do it too.
I was watching this fictional leader try to make all the improvements she had envisioned for years, and do so in a matter of 24 hours, and alienate all those who needed to follow her.
When it failed miserably, as radical, instantaneous, change from a new leader almost always does, her mentor spoke these wise words:
You want someone to run a four minute mile, you don’t chase them.
You don’t give them something to run from, you give them something to run to.
Effective leaders do change things. It’s why excellent leadership is rare: it mandates change. Change regularly meets with resistance and change is hard. But instead of chasing people with threats or fear or loud orders, great leaders lay out a clear vision. Communicate a message which inspires people to move with you, instead of from you.
What happens after the change?
What will be better?
Why will the company or team function more effectively?
How will others be better off?
Lay out the vision inspiring you to do the hard things and make the hard choices. Be patient. Recognize it takes time to turn a ship. Inspire those around you to keep moving because the vision on the other side of the change is worth the work.
Photo via fitsugar.com