The Effects of Change on the Leader
Change and managing change are common topics among leaders and consultants, but rarely do people pay any attention to the effects of high rates of change, or difficult to manage change (like healthcare reform) on the leaders.
One of the least mentioned effects of change relates to how it impacts the one leading the change, and his or her ability to effectively leverage the leadership role throughout the change process. Resistance, fear and performance issues are well known reactions by employees and staff to big change, but the leader is subject to the same reactions. Some types of change, such as restructuring or implementing new systems, can put considerable strain on business leaders.
Stress, Stress & More Stress
Avoidance -- A Common Response
The outcomes of this tactic can be quite negative. By relinquishing the helm and avoiding leading the team through the rough seas of change, staff become disheartened, disengaged in the process, they look for work elsewhere, or they become ineffective. Furthermore, you could lose the trust and faith of your staff, upon which you depend for the survival of your business. When a leader takes the stance, “it’s not my problem,” he or she becomes part of the problem and not the solution. It is the staff who make any change possible, and therefore they need to see the right behaviors modeled by their leader, such as accountability, responsibility and getting through together.
While avoidance serves a need for the leader in the short run, it destroys the leader’s credibility and results in poor followership. The long-term consequence of such action is that the business tends to deteriorate in terms of morale, effectiveness and productivity. Sometimes this deterioration is irreversible.
Denial -- Another Ineffective Tactic
2) A common leadership tactic is to avoid involvement in change when that involvement is unpleasant or uncomfortable. The effects of this withdrawal can be lethal to the business and by extension, to the leader.
3) Another common tactic is denial of the effects of change. Leaders who do this tend to underestimate the impact of the change, and demonstrate an inability to respond to employees' emotional reactions to change.
Dr. Gale provides coaching and training to enhance leadership skills, interpersonal communications and team building. If you would like to learn more, contact him at email@example.comForward this article to a friend
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