”If things aren’t changing–what is the purpose of your leadership?”

If you don’t like change, you’re going to like being irrelevant even less. The only thing definite in life is change. If you have ever made a New Year’s Resolution you appreciate the difficulty in making changes, especially your leadership behavior.

Leadership behavior changes: some are easy, some are challenging, and some are extremely difficult. Making lasting and significant changes in behavior is rarely easy or simple.

It involves a substantial commitment of time, effort and emotional energy. Great leaders look at three areas when considering changes:

First, leadership competences that are easy to change with minimal effort:
1. Education and knowledge
2. Organization and planning
3. Self-awareness
4. Communication
5. Selecting the right team
6. Setting goals and managing performance
7. Leading successful meetings

Second, leadership competences that are challenging to change and require significant effort:
1. Changing leadership style
2. Conflict management
3. Creating a compelling vision
4. Judgment calls
5. Stress management
6. Team building
7. Strategic planning

Third, leadership competences very difficult to change, however, doable if deeply committed over time:
1. Inspirational leadership
2. Analytical & conceptual skills
3. Attitude
4. Intelligence
5. Energy and enthusiasm
6. Integrity
7. Separating leadership and management functions

If things don’t change under your ”leadership, ” you are managing and not leading. The purpose of leadership is creating a compelling future and that requires changing present reality.

Managers make today better by making sense out of the ”chaos” leaders create through making changes. Change is not something you do to your team, but something you do with your team.

Great leaders begin the change process by improving their own competences before working on their team members. Mature leaders don’t call for change until they know they have the relational equity with their team and the decision-makers to pull it off.

What changes are you planning for 2019? Is your team aware of those changes? Are they energized and aligned?

If you can’t answer these questions in the affirmative today, 12-31-18, why will you still be the leader tomorrow, 1-1-19? If your team can’t answer them, why are they still on your team?

Without change, 2019 will simply be a rerun of 2018 and the value of your leadership will be in question. Regardless of how hard you work and how well you manage what already exists, leadership is all about creating what doesn’t exist. If nothing changes, what will you say on December 31, 2019?