Leadership development


Book Review – Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change

Read Jason Porritt’s review of a new book called Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change

Since, we don’t live or work in isolation, knowing how to work with others is important. Influence is an important skill when working with others. The framework in this book is a six-quadrant grid meant to help identify ways to influence key behaviors in ourselves and others.

The vertical axis includes three scopes: Personal, Social, and Structural. The horizontal axis includes Motivation and Ability. The intersections of these two axes create the six change strategies that the authors discuss in the book.


Successful Leadership Must be Sustained

Leading people, as opposed to managing processes, is fraught with complexity and ambiguity. Leading effectively is about generating great results through others and doing it sustainably. Generating great results through others is a very different task than performing well as a high-level individual contributor, which is the pool from which most leaders are chosen. That’s where the leadership adventure begins, and that’s also where many leaders begin to derail, for the traits and skills of the high-level individual contributor are not necessarily the attributes that are most effective in a leadership role. It turns out that it’s not high IQ and technical competence that counts the most. It’s high E.Q. that is the most important attribute and skill set for a leader to possess.

Click to read the rest of this article by Greg Van Ness


Becoming a Change Thriver

Organizational change is personal when we are going through it, whether we are in the role of a change leader or not. As a human being, we cannot escape the cycle of change in our lives. We have no choice but to experience the breaking-apart stage of the change cycle. But we have choices in the exploration and break-through phases. We have the choice to thrive through change.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

Becoming a Change Thriver means that we grow to be change-ready—we have learned ways to embrace change rather than run away from it. Being a Change Thriver is not something we are born with. Although certain personality traits can make it more comfortable for some people to deal with change, for most people thriving in change is a developmental process. The first step to becoming a Change Thriver is to identify the essential characteristics and the role they play in making change an easier process for us. The next step is to take inventory of our skills and determine the additional skills we need to develop.

To thrive in change we need to examine 3 main sets of characteristics of Change Thrivers:

Internal Mind-Set and Beliefs

  1. Have a sense of their life purpose
  2. Incorporate their spiritual beliefs as a foundation in their daily life
  3. Strive to be true to themselves and are motivated to live their own truth
  4. Stay attentive to internal messages
  5. Trust in the process of their life
  6. Can let go of control in things they cannot control
  7. Practice an attitude of gratitude and seek the advantages in situations


  1. Cultivate a solid support network
  2. Care for their body, mind, and spirit during the process of change
  3. Honor and express their emotions
  4. Recognize the value of humor
  5. Have strategies to cope with uncertainty
  6. Stay open to possibilities
  7. Are adaptable


  1. Know and are confident in their own abilities
  2. Know their own shortcomings without judging themselves
  3. Think beyond the obvious
  4. Have the courage to be proactive
  5. Are willing to take prudent risks
  6. Are willing to follow through with plans and commitments
  7. Approach change holistically and take into account the impact of change on others

The more we learn and practice these skills, the easier it becomes to thrive in change as well as lead change.


Organizations Can’t Change If Leaders Can’t Change with Them

This excellent article in Harvard Business Journal makes the point that effective change begins with the leadership.

“Few leaders would disagree that personal transformation is an important building block of any successful change effort. Unfortunately, too many leaders want transformation to happen at unrealistic speeds, with minimal effort, and everywhere but within themselves. A leader’s ability to affect change depends on their ability to affect change within themselves. Accepting this will fundamentally shift how one leads. The more a leader knows how they will react during change, the better equipped they’ll be to foster real change in themselves, others, and the organization.”




How Effectively Managing Change Positively Impacts Your Business

For small or large operational changes to succeed, they require a focus on staff engagement. Engaging your employees is all about two-way communication. Employees should understand the need for changes, goals, and timelines, and how they will be affected. Explaining in person is the most effective way to encourage your staff to make suggestions that may improve the process and outcome. The article lists a variety of tools to help you communicate effectively with your employees.


Want to raise your emotional intelligence? Focus on these 3 components

A good article on Emotional Intelligence to share with you.

What was regarded in the past as a “soft skill” has emerged as one of the most critical determinants of career and leadership success: emotional intelligence. While leaders may not be able to change the aspects of their personality that others find unappealing, adding communication and thinking strategies can help improve their interactions with others, and ultimately lead to higher career success.

The 3 tenets of emotional intelligence:

  1. Social self-awarenessRecognize who you are socially and emotionally.
  2. Empathy – Read people and situations accurately.
  3. Self-controlRespond appropriately based on who you are interacting with and what the situation calls for.



6 Strategies for Leading Change

Are you leading your team or organization through a difficult change? If so, these strategies can help you consider the different steps you need to take, in order to help your people understand the pressures for change, address their concerns, get their buy-in and communicate their role in making it successful.

Make it safe!

  • Create an atmosphere of safety and trust.
  • Enhance or maintain self-esteem.
  • Encourage participation.
  • Model the behaviors you are seeking.

You don’t have to agree, just understand.

  • Give information and business reasons as completely as possible.
  • View resistance as a natural and positive mechanism for sorting new information.
  • Expect resistance and expression of emotion.
  • Listen to and acknowledge others’ reality.

Take the time needed to get a commitment.

  • Start from where they are and lead them to where they are going.
  • Answer questions even if they have already been addressed; they may be asked from another point of view.
  • Discuss the goals, reasons and impact of the change on people.
  • Show compassion for their concerns and address their fears and barriers.
  • Ask for and listen to alternative approaches to the same goal.
  • Stay flexible with the methods and include inputs when possible.

To know you are on the right track, you must first see the track!

  • Clarify the purpose and direction.
  • Create a transition plan and set priorities.
  • Develop success measures and a feedback system.
  • Clarify roles, expectations, and risks.
  • Provide training, incentives, and support.
  • Follow the transition plan.

Only by knowing where you are, can you get to where you are going!

  • Monitor progress regularly.
  • Give feedback on progress.
  • Involve people in making adjustments.

Desired behaviors will be repeated with acknowledgment and reward.

  • Observe and acknowledge every milestone reached.
  • Record every accomplishment.
  • Celebrate successes.
  • Recognize and reward contributions.

Leading change: Two monologues don’t make a dialogue

An excellent article about the myths we perpetuate about change:

  • Organisations are like machines
  • ‘Disruptive’ change can be managed like a project
  • Myths about those who resist change

If we perpetuate these myths, failures will continue to follow.

3 Tips the article offers:

  1. Know your change: Adaptive Challenges require involving people throughout your organisation.
  2. Mind your language: Language matters. These changes occur when every day thinking changes. Thinking changes when the narrative changes, which requires a different language.
  3. Welcome your resistors: See resistance as something to be understood not overcome.

When Leading Through Change, Adopt These 4 Strategies

Max McKeown, stated, “Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.” In this article, Matt Mayberry offers four important strategies to lead change:

1. Stay purpose driven

If you direct your focus on creating a culture high on purpose, the “how” will eventually present itself.

2. Communication must be constant

Leaders must communicate both from a technical standpoint and reinforce inspiration & acknowledgment of their people.

3. Invest in your people

The organizations that are passionate about developing & building their people win and come out on top.

4. Persist until you succeed

Persistence is the backbone of the organizations that thrive through extreme change.


Strategy Execution: How Top Companies Get Ahead of the Competition and Stay There

An excellent article about characteristics that set top companies apart.

Leaders in top-performing companies appear to be particularly capable in five key areas.

  1. Managing Paradoxes
  2. Change Management
    • Model behaviors that support the change.
    • Have realistic objectives and milestones.
    • Don’t underestimate the resources required.
    • Maintain enthusiasm and excitement among employees.
  3. Practice Participative Leadership
  4. Lead by Example
  5. Work Effectively Across Organizational Boundaries