What is our responsibility when our leader changes direction?

As we develop into leaders that others want to follow, we show our maturity by how we behave when we receive new direction.  

Change affects us all; including our organizations.

While we may not understand completely all the reasons or rationale behind a change, how we chose to respond will impact the teams we lead positively or negatively.

Individuals that want to increase their ability to lead understand they must be able to follow well and model behaviors they want others to emulate. 

Below are some thoughts for us to consider as we receive new direction.  

Trust the leader

People leading us are there for a reason.  Most have been able to achieve something we haven’t yet so we should support their right and responsibility to make decisions affecting the group.  Submitting to authority works best when we choose to trust they have the best interest of the team and organization in mind.  Unless there is evidence to the contrary this should be our mindset.

Understand the time frame

Most direction change takes longer than a day to implement.  Further, it might take some time to fully understand how to execute the new direction.  Acting immediately could be a mistake as leaders may refine the directive based on feedback they receive.

Offer leadership our best

Offer our best counsel on moving the team from here to there.  We have a responsibility to our teams and our leaders to share our thoughts and provide options on how to get where they want to go. There may also  be opportunity to help reduce risks associated with the change.

Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course ~ John Maxwell

Moving the team

Even if we have the best relationship and trust of our team, moving them may not always be easy.   We should approach the team openly, communicate the change, listen, and set the new course.  The map to get to the new destination may still need to be developed.  Activate the team in ways that produce positive energy and find ways for them to influence the path to take. 

Offer Praise frequently

Celebrate team achievements along the way.  Many of us forget to do this and it hurts the team morale.   Acknowledging what they are doing and have done is extremely important as they are the ones that feel less in control and need our affirmation that we are on course and what they are doing matters.

Thank the leader

Along the way, it is important that we also affirm our leader.  Not many leaders have the courage to make tough decisions at the right times to move the organization to a better place.   Some never do and leave the team and organization to suffer until a new leader comes and initiates the needed course correction.  Showing appreciation for our leaders is a behavior our teams’ need to see from us.

Shepherding:  The art of becoming the leader others want to follow

Leaders Can Be A Blessing

In our work and life there are many reasons for us to feel like the world is against us which makes it difficult to be the blessing others need.

Compounding the challenge, at times we may not be treated with the respect we deserve, our leaders may not reward our contributions the way we would like, and some trusted colleagues may choose to compete rather than collaborate with us.  Continue reading “Leaders Can Be A Blessing”

A Leader Grows Through Trials

Clearly communicating what a leader looks like in our organization can help the next generation of leaders grow steadily and provide guardrails that give them the best chance to succeed.

We can craft compelling mission and vision statements in partnership with our teams to build ownership and drive accountability.

We can even post value statements publicly and integrate them throughout the organization and invite employees to embrace them.

All the aforementioned become effective only after those in charge have integrity and live their core values authentically.  Consistency here builds reputation and brings them the opportunity to earn trust.

People judge leadership quality by what leaders do, not what they say.

Where leadership grows most

How do we respond when things don’t go our way?

Can we gracefully handle disappointment? We need to resist the temptation to give in to pressure that might cause us to act out in frustration and damage people. Instead, let’s choose to live our values and realize that whatever disappointment we experience is only one scene our much larger story.

Key:  Have proper perspective.  Turn the page and be grateful for all that we have and bring our best to our next scene.

What if we don’t?   Trouble.  Only when we own our situation can we truly make the change we need. Anything short makes us a victim. And is there such a thing as a victim-leader?

How do we handle criticism?

Reframe it first.

Criticism, by definition, means we have done something worth criticizing.  Wow!  Criticism also means our work isn’t for everyone.

Key: When we make something new, our job is to find the person or group it is for and give it to them.  Don’t expect everyone will love it.

What if we don’t?   We could become defensive, lie, and even become bitter.

Hold on to these feelings too long and we will find it difficult finding people willing to work with us.

Living with a  grateful heart and reframing criticism will empower us to give the gifts we bring to those who appreciate them best.