The art of leading through change


Too many leaders neglect the human side of change, maybe the most important of them all. Effective leaders devoted considerable effort to engaging everyone involved in the change and remembered that people need time to adapt to change — no matter how fast-moving the change initiative.

Adaptation and transformation are now the norm during what is becoming one of the most challenging periods of change. Change is constant. It is so constant that you would think we would all be used to it by now. Good leaders change and great leaders transform. Leading employees through change is one of the most challenging things a leader can do, and the key is to take people on the journey with you. Successful change starts with the leaders themselves transforming. With change now a constant, being agile, adaptable, and innovative is the final vital rule.  Change is the new normal so get used to it. The best leaders have the awareness to be agile and sense what needs to happen in the moment. They can do the right thing in changing situations with an open mind set by reacting, reflecting, refining, and reviewing.

Adaptable, transformational leaders of the future need to be people focused. They need to be nimble, purposeful, and collaborative to really make a difference and have the tools and skills needed to lead their teams through what is going to be one of the most challenging periods of change ahead.

Stay purpose driven.

When your organization is experiencing turbulent times and you are in a position where you must lead through change, you must stay purpose driven. If the leader of an organization veers away from the organization’s purpose, how in the world are the employees of that organization supposed to stay on target? It is just not going to happen.


Communication must be constant.

I think there are too many leaders and organizations that undervalue its importance, especially during times of major change. Great communication is required to create great relationships. Great communication is required for athletic teams to perform at a high level. The same goes for organizational health and being able to lead effectively.

It is important for leaders to constantly communicate from a corporate standpoint, but also to reinforce much needed inspiration and acknowledgment of their people. The best leaders are high-impact communicators and help to create an environment where people feel safe to change their mindsets as needed. They give people practical tools to create a positive attitudinal ‘shift’ in behaviours so that together they become the change needed within the organisation and the transformation is sustainable.


Invest in your people.

As a leader, you must understand that the most important people are the ones who work with you. These are the men and women that are expected to carry out your vision and head into the trenches to make sure that the transition through whatever change your organization is going through is a success.

Depending on the size of your company, look to invest in your people as much as possible. The organizations that are passionate about developing and building their people are the same organizations that win and come out on top.


Be purposeful

Good leaders have the courage to face challenges. They identify the purpose, the WHY, and stay calm so they can see a clear way forward. They question why change is needed and inspire their people with the why, vision and objectives for change.


Know what is important to people

The best leaders know how their employees are feeling during uncertainty by coaching and giving them the confidence to voice what is important to them. They listen to their team’s concerns on the changes happening around them, they ask questions, engage in the HOW they are going to achieve change, coach and empower their team to act. They listen and treat everyone with the respect that they deserve. They connect with people and take them on the emotional journey that change, and transformation implies.

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