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How To Lead During Workplace Change

Piggybacking off of my last post about change, I want to quickly put out some thoughts on one key aspect of change: leadership.

I’m not talking about changes IN leadership here, but rather leading during a time of change. Let’s face it – when the unexpected happens (be it industry changes, staffing changes, etc.), people look to the management of a workplace for answers.

But in today’s world, we have to get over the idea that only leaders have the answers. That way of thinking needs to be adopted by the leaders themselves, too. Change happens so fast we need to consider redistributing the burden of change. So, if a change comes down, a Senior Manager should be willing to look to the team they manage for ideas on how to best manage that change. Decisions on what happens ultimately fall under their responsibility, but anyone could have the right answer. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, but it’s up to you as the leader to decide how heavy you’ll let it be.

If you’re not a manager, look at times of change as an opportunity to step up and show that you can be a leader. Develop ideas on how to efficiently and strategically manage the change you’re facing. Document your ideas. Then share them with the “official” leaders in your office. If your idea is right, then you’re invaluable. If they decide it’s not the right direction at the time, at least they know you’re thinking about things and trying to be a part of the solution.

There’s actually a great article I just read that covers this very topic. In it, the author sits down with a Hospital leader and asks some very specific questions about how she manages change. I recommend you read it and let me know your thoughts.

I’d also love to hear your thoughts on managing change in the workplace. What have you learned?

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Kathryn Teague says:

    Times of change often leave employees in a vacuum. Upper management sees an issue, wants to make a change and – sometimes – doesn’t want to talk about it or acknowledge it. True leadership, whether it come from a manager, executive or corporate officer, will encourage employees to ask questions, express concerns, or prick the conscience of others. The art of leadership is in finding the balance on the tightrope for the well-being of the organization and the legitimate concerns of the rank and file.