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Leadership and Cultural Transformation Begin from Within
Strong leadership is necessary for cultural transformation.
Cultures may evolve or stagnate, and leadership is a prime determinant of how they do so.
Culture in the workplace can become stagnant, and when it does, any cultural evolution that happens will tend toward calcifying the processes and outlooks that are already in place. There’s nothing wrong with stability, but when stability turns into stagnation, an organization can’t grow and thrive as it should. And without strong leadership, culture can’t change in positive ways.
While it’s possible to learn leadership techniques, having the insight and courage to apply them in pursuit of positive cultural change must come from within. It’s not always easy, but practicing setting and achieving goals can prepare you for times when you have to make important (and sometimes difficult) leadership decisions.
What It Takes to Achieve Your Goals
Many elements go into successfully achieving your goals. Not only must you have goals, you must also have the motivation and self-confidence to pursue them. You must think big while being realistic, and you must be disciplined enough to monitor your progress. Being able to foresee possible obstacles can help you prepare for when things go off-track, as can having the discipline to resist temptation to stray from your goals.
I have identified 21 laws of leadership and cultural transformation that I believe can help you as you develop your own leadership skills and strive toward goals for yourself and for your organization. Here are the first three of those laws of leadership and cultural transformation and why they work.
1. Align with People of Extraordinary Character and Competence
We are shaped by the company we keep. And while we can’t always choose who we work with, we may have more control over who we spend our time with than we think. Aligning with positive people who are competent and of strong character is easier when we take these steps:
- Be genuine and true to yourself
- Find common ground, such as positive traits you’re attracted to
- Leave your comfort zone sometimes: experience new things and meet new people
- Consistently work on your own character and competence
- Counteract complainers with positivity that’s genuine (even if it is over something small)
Seek out and demonstrate positivity and strength of character.
2. Disciplined Pursuit of Less Can Deliver More
You simply cannot be all things to all people. Your role as a leader may have grown more complicated over the years as you assume more and more responsibilities. Eventually, you may wonder what your real function is! Learning how to delegate and empower team members can help you offload some of the non-critical responsibilities that weigh you down. When you can identify and focus on the activities that only you can do, that add value, you can deliver more while pursuing less. It’s not easy, but leadership coaching can help tremendously with key executive skills like delegation and team empowerment.
3. Know You Are Good; Admit You Can Be Better
It may seem paradoxical that you have to both accept yourself and change yourself, but it’s not really an either/or situation. The concept of radical acceptance embraces both acceptance and change. Experiencing your life as it requires letting go of illusions of control, which opens us up to change. Knowing you are good but admitting you can improve requires three key steps:
- Recognizing reality: this is what is happening
- Accepting reality: right now, it’s not like I envisioned it
- Moving forward: I can take what reality gives me and do my absolute best with it
In other words, you can move forward and make positive changes without giving up who you are at your core.