For nine years I have helped companies and organizations improve upon and change their business processes. In those nine years, there has always been one incontrovertible element that was critical to sustaining the process changes that were implemented, and that element is LEADERSHIP.
I once heard a manager of a power plant say “I want a process that will drive my people.” I can tell you that there will never be a process so perfect that it will drive people. People drive processes, and LEADERSHIP is what inspires people to execute and drive those processes.
Change = Growth = Leadership
Too often leaders of organizations, who engage consultants to help them with process change, or any change for that matter, forget to change the one person who is critical to the sustainment of that change, and that is themselves. A leader must be willing to engage in the very activities they are asking their people to engage in. They must be willing to grow and improve themselves, if they are to see the returns they are investing in. They must be willing to go before their people and demonstrate how committed they are.
What does it take for a leader to recognize they have to change? The answer is COURAGE. It is the ability to stare yourself in the eye and admit that you must make changes within yourself, if you are to inspire your people.
Think of it this way: The one person who you have the most control over is the one person you must change, and by changing that one person and letting it be seen will begin to change an entire organization and culture.
As simple as it sounds, it isn't, because LEADING OURSELVES is the toughest leadership challenge there is. If you conquer that challenge, you will reap the rewards and the return.
So, the next time you engage consulting firms in helping you make changes in the processes that operate your business, make sure you are prepared to change yourself. Your people will change with you, but never for you.
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