It is said that few things are more important to human activity than leadership. Effective leadership drives necessary change, helps a nation through times of confusion and builds successful organisations by providing a strong foundation for growth. Without leadership, organisations move too slowly, stagnate and lose their way. Companies will move without any sense of direction.
"Leadership means making a difference, creating a positive change; providing the catalyst that creates an atmosphere of change that improves the world or at least the small part of the world around us. Leadership is the stretch of changing things that can be changed, of providing new thinking, new energy, to the current situation” Dr. Bowman (2010).
Most people tend to dislike change because it deviates from patterns of stability and can breed uncertainty and fear. How leaders manage change in an organisation speaks volumes to how change is accepted by the members, subordinated or stakeholders. Acknowledging the characteristics of change are vital, however, and it must first be noted that change is inevitable, non-linear, must come from the top down and the bottom up as a shared responsibility and change involves important personal dimensions that cannot be overlooked. Adaptation to change has become a common agenda for today’s leaders.
To survive the effects of continuous change, leaders need to accomplish three major tasks namely:
a) to shape the political dynamics of the change process;
b) to motivate change; and
c) to manage the transition period
Leaders are responsible for setting the context of change within the organisation. A culture and vision must be cultivated to support the planned change and at the same time, deal with unplanned change. Leaders must be able to counsel, teach and coach all the people to be affected by change so they may be able to properly adapt to the flow of change. For lasting change to occur, the general identity of the organisation must be congruent with the vision and goals inherent in the change process proposed.
In the end, leaders who create positive change are adjudged not only with the result but also overcoming the limits brought about by the introduced change. Leaders should have the vision for the greater potential of the organisation. The litmus and ultimate test then of a true leader is his ability to create positive changes in an organisation and the lives of the people relying in it. Thanks to D.S. Calda, Ma.Ed.
Marketing Manager/Business Advisor