Imagine asking a panel of CEOs from top American companies: What is leadership in the 21st century?
I had the opportunity to hear their response at a recent Procter & Gamble Alumni conference. There were two answers right away:
- Driving change
- Developing future leaders who can drive change
The next question: “How do you drive change?” brought these answers:
- you need a process.
- get your best people on it (it’s the most important thing you are doing).
- set priorities: what do you want to change?
- measure the results.
- there must be consequences (move resisters out of the way).
- teach each other how to do it ( every organization is different).
- permanent change takes time.
Today leadership means making adaptability a way of life. It is a proactive process: identifying problems as opportunities, creating new solution ideas and implementing changes. These problems may be strategic :
- defining a new vision or mission
- establishing high-level goals
- finding new directions to pursue
- exploring new markets to enter
- engaging customers to uncover hidden needs
Or they may be tactical:
- speeding up a procedure
- installing a new technology
- improving customer satisfaction
- reducing cost
- increasing quality
This week’s Minsight: How might you take the lead (without being asked) in tackling a change opportunity in your department or team ? One thing we know for sure is that taking the plunge is the key to the process. Once you involve others in getting started, they will not want to stop. How about sharing feedback on your experience?