Saturday, 6 February 2010

On leadership

"We should be calling for leadership that will challenge us to face problems for which there are no simple, painless solutions."
Ron Heifetz - Leadership without easy answers

This sentiment has been on my mind lately - as I've been in conflict with colleagues, about facing up to the realities of our situation rather than basking on past glories and carrying on with management techniques that aren't able to meet current challenges.

I know that change is difficult, but we have collectively accepted that we need to change, we've committed to it publicly with our staff groups - now we need to move from rhetoric to reality.

And what about me?  Well, I need to change too, and it begins with conscious acts of letting go.  Letting go of some specific (comfort zone) tasks; letting go of control; letting go of old certainties; letting go of simplistic, unsustainable solutions to problems; letting go of moaning about the inability of my colleagues to move forward...

Instead I need to model the behaviour that we have said we will adopt - scary and exhilirating.  I need to offer moral support to those managers who are keen to see the changes happening; to offer practical advice and guidance to those who don't 'get it' yet.  In short, I need to champion the changes that we need to make, to be willing to explore the uncertainty; to re-trace my steps when we take the wrong direction; to listen to feedback - even when I don't agree with it; and to assess where we are honestly and frequently.

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