Most change management initiatives that fail do so for one reason: individuals are either unwilling or unable to change their own attitudes and behavior.
The mistake most leaders make is thinking that change is an organizational issue, and that they can restructure, implement new systems, processes, and technology, and voila, the change will take place!
But the change does not take place in so many cases because of a lack of flexibility in people. Not just the people who have to implement the change; the leaders who design the change and their implementation strategy.
I have been working with business leaders on increasing their “personal flexibility” for over 30 years and I have identified a few key characteristics of a flexible leader. How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 for each of the following samples of the characteristics?
- Willing to listen to ideas you don’t initially agree with.
- Adaptable – willing to change your mind in the face of new evidence.
- You believe that other’s needs are at least as important as your own.
- Willing to compromise.
- Willing to take risks, especially with ideas that are not your own.
How flexible are you? Before you answer that question, consider that you are only as flexible as other people see you as being. How would others answer these questions about you?