Recently I was asked if it is more important to prioritize your time or your energy. The more I think about it, the more I see an interesting dilemma in a schedule driven world. I have been through many physically intensive times and roles. I have been with people who lived their lives through their physicality. These Many have taught me ways that they managed their energy in order to apply it where it really counted.
To those of you who are living through transformations, and especially those who are leading them, here are some thoughts directly to you. Real transformation means that we change the rules of how we engage, how we make decisions, and how we do business. Transformation means seeing the world through a different set of lenses and using a different set of responses than we have used before. It is a culture change.
Recently one of my past clients told me that his business has encountered a sudden increase in demand. So much so that it exceeded the organizations capacity to deliver. Additionally, the demand is from a different (basically new) market sector than before the downturn, it seems to be sustainable, and it is inexplicable based on what they know about the current market. Additionally, his existing long-standing customer base is still operating on reduced demand, but based on what they think, is expected to return at some point and also deliver some pent-up demand.
I often get asked to explain the difference between transformational and transactional leadership, and I recently saw an example of a large corporate change that illustrates it. The leadership of this corporation set out to reduce the number of call centers that it had around the world. It had a highly diversified business model with a number of different customer bases. The call centers had grown up locally without a central strategy.
During every change effort, at some point people seem to revert to old ways. In fact, some cases people never seem to change at all? I can't count the times I have heard leaders say, "I can't believe that people are still doing that! We've have already approved the new system and announced the changes!" Understanding why changes can vanish in the midst of large organizations is a study in human and organization dynamics.
The simple part is that it happens the same way whether it is one person or a thousand. It gets more complex when you put an organization into the mix.
Being a leader today means your skills are more important than ever. Once you acquire new skills you become a leader who transforms yourself and others. We’ve always had skills and leaders have used these skills to create change in many settings throughout our recorded history. But the issue now has to do with the relative importance of these skills. The magnitude of interpersonal connections being created globally is at a point never before experienced in human history.
Every leader knows what he or she did today, last week and last year. But what will you do tomorrow, next week and next year? Success comes from what you did last, not where you are going next. However, predicting future success from the use of technical abilities is like driving by looking in the rearview mirror. It doesn’t tell what will create success where you are going.
You’re a leader and you believe you need to change. Fine. But how do you change and can you do it? The answer is clearly ‘yes’ say those who have followed the methods explained by Dr Jeff Evans in his ground-breaking book Inspirational Presence. As Dr Evans explains, “The work of this book is to teach leaders how they can accomplish transformation in the simplest form possible.
My highest aspiration for this book is simply for it to be useful.