If you want to see real actionable change in your business, then you need to ensure that you have the right leadership traits in your management team.
Change is never easy, but without the right leaders to mitigate the turbulent wake of change, it could even be downright impossible. Research shows that 70% of business change initiatives fail to meet their goals, due to a lack of proper management support and training guidance.
Fortunately, a way to ensure your own company doesn’t fall into this trap does exist. It’s called structured change management, and it empowers leaders to create real and lasting transformations.
Change management refers to the process and methods by which businesses achieve major organizational improvements. It requires a targeted approach that takes into account both the challenges to change and the strategies needed to overcome them. And even more so, it requires change leadership with the right traits to help a business come out on top.
So, what should you be looking for in your change management leaders? Here are the traits that are essential to being a successful leader in change management, as well as why they’re so important.
4 Must-Have Traits for Leaders in Business Change Management
When it comes to the knowledge and skills needed for management and leadership during a change initiative, just bringing the bare minimum to the table isn’t going to cut it. If you’re ready for a real transformation, here are the traits you should be looking for in leadership.
1. Strong Communication Skills
It’s probably not much of a surprise to learn that change management leaders need to be able to communicate with their teams. But effective communication goes beyond just relaying what needs to get done. Effective change leaders are able to communicate the purpose behind each step and how various tasks fit into the overall mission. And because communication goes both ways, they are also proficient listeners who value the input of everyone on the team.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Achievable success requires leaders who are able to separate their own emotions from the end objective and work in everyone’s best interests instead of just their own. This necessitates emotional intelligence and the ability to validate the emotions of themselves and their team members without letting them get in the way of progress.
3. Critical and Creative Thinking
What do all successful change leaders have in common? They’re able to think critically and creatively about the challenges in front of them. Change managers must be able to strategize, and they have to be capable of coming up with innovative solutions, sometimes at a moment’s notice.
There is no such thing as a smooth change process. Obstacles can and will occur, and that means businesses need a change leader who can foresee these obstacles when possible and change course whenever necessary. Adaptability in change leadership also refers to a manager’s ability to learn from mistakes and look at failure as an opportunity for growth—not as a stopgap to further improvements.
The traits that make someone a great change leader are the same traits that make them great management material in general. What’s different is that all of these skills must be focused on forward movement, with performance-driven initiatives that might take weeks, months, or even years to come to fruition.
At EDOM Solutions, we work closely with our clients to go over change management skills, examples, and methods that can inform their own internal processes. Learn more about us and what we do, and contact our team today for a one-on-one consultation or to inquire about change management training.