“What is the most pressing leadership tasks for the months to come?” was our question of a recent poll. Thanks to the 124 participants of a well-balanced mix in gender, nationality, function and position, who made this poll quite representative.
Based on our discussions with leaders, we were hoping and assuming that “Leading People through Change” will make the race to number 1. However, we would not have guessed the stunning outcome of 2 in 3 votes. Together with “Develop People”, it is refreshing to see that the people-related topics account for 79%, while the rather business-related topics got 21% of the votes. Has the pandemic caused a conscious shift toward more people-centric leadership?
Seeing “Strategy and Execution” on position number 2, clearly reflects that proper strategies and execution plans are in place. The relatively low score of just 15% could be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, most companies have their strategies and plans well defined. While they know WHAT needs to be done, they see the clear focus in guiding people HOW to get there. Secondly and more importantly, an increasing number of leaders seem to realize that many – if not most – changes are NOT the result of a change in strategy or a new plan. Processes have changed to cater for COVID related administrative requirements. Systems have been changed or even newly been introduced, resulting in an even bigger change for the people. Collaboration has completely changed from physical to virtual. Organizational structures and compensation systems might have changed. And there are all those employees who simply rotated a job or got promoted, causing a lot of changes for the respective individual – and those people around. None of these change examples is related to a change in strategy. Can you think of some more? What is the root cause for the change you are currently going through?
The real surprise was seeing “Develop Business” outvoted by far, reaching just 6% of the votes. As many businesses are going south, more focus on bringing the business back on track would have been expected. On the other hand, this is well in tune with one of the statements in my online course “Unfold the Serene Leader in You”:
There is no “leading business”. Since people ARE the business, “leading people” is the serious business.
In other words, a clear focus on people might be the best way to focus on your business. Be a change coach for your people. What do you think?
If you want to learn more about “Leading People through Change”, contact us and/or enroll in our online leadership course “Unfold the Serene Leader in You“.
Live & Lead Wiser. Choose ATvisor™ – your one-stop change solution provider.
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