Be the change you want to see in the world is one of the twelve leadership precepts we use.
Attributed to Gandhi, this idea encapsulates the idea of responsibility. If, as a leader, we see that something is needed in our business or on our team, and we do nothing to bring it about, surely we are failing our colleagues.
By a leader “being the change”, we interpret Gandhi’s words both literally—if you want people to be peaceful and live together in harmony, then you have to do that first—and metaphorically as saying “bring about the change”.
Unless, as a leader, you embody the things you want other people to do/feel/believe, you haven’t a hope in bringing about such changes in them. Feel the fear and do it anyway—the title of Susan Jeffers’ popular book. For us it sums up the idea that leaders have to be willing not only to show their people the way, but also to go there themselves first.
However, people—including leaders—can be resistant to moving forward. Sometimes they don’t want to be led, and sometimes they don’t want to lead. They are being asked to show up, take responsibility or go somewhere new, any and all of which can be frightening, just because they’re unknown.
If a team is stuck, the people in it are stuck and they are more or less showing up where the leader is stuck. If it is to move forward, the leader has to deal with his/her stuff and this can be a fearful proposition. But unless the leader is willing to confront their issues, and resolve them, the team ain’t going anywhere.
It’s a fundamental leadership quality to be willing to go for it. To deal with whatever is blocking progress and move forward. To feel the fear and do it anyway. And then feel the fear about the next thing, and the next…
by Jeremy Marchant . © Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 26 may 2015 . image: Free images