Times change, situations, circumstances and conditions change, and so must those in positions of leadership. Just because something has always been done in a particular manner does not automatically mean that it must always be done that way, but, on the other hand, it also does not mean that everything must always be changes. Our greatest leaders are those that can balance those rituals and methods that should be kept the same, which ones should be modified, and even perhaps which ones should be abandoned. It begins with a thorough needs analysis, and progresses to making the necessary, yet often difficult policy decisions. Les Paul put it this way, "You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change." Simply stated, effective individuals search inside themselves and become the change that they see and believe is needed. It's always up to you!
1. There is an adage that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." While there is quite a bit of merit to that, the challenge becomes someones ability to identify if something is working as it should. For example, if an organization runs an annual event, and for several years, attendance, interest, and revenues dwindle, there is invariably a need to change, modify, tweak, and rethink the event. Those in leadership positions who remain intransigent, and resistant to changes because their attitude is that it's the way we've always done it, probably fail to fully recognize that those that do not evolve rarely continue to exist, become less sustainable, and most definitely, lose their relevance. Remember that things do not cost the same anymore, competition is often both stiffer and more diverse, and people's interests and priorities change and adapt. Unless a leader adapts and changes when it is necessary, he often risks losing being in touch with his constituents, who he ends up not relating to fully. This is why organizations must constantly evolve, because small changes are far more easily accepted and effected, than revolutionary changes that may be needed when one waits too long. Leaders cannot and should not risk playing catch up!
2. Human nature is such that most of us find it far easier to see what's wrong in others, than to identify our own weaknesses. Those that wish to be great leaders, therefore, must be honestly and openly introspective, so that they can look at themselves even more objectively than they evaluate others. When a leader is objective, he recognizes that there must continuously be evolutionary changes, and the individual who is able to adapt with integrity, generally has the best opportunity to be a truly meaningful leader.
Change is needed, both in organizations and in their leaders. Evolutionary change and adaptation is generally preferable, easier, more implementable, and more effective.
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