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Change leader, change thyself

mckinsey.com

Leo Tolstoy

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

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Organizations don’t change. People change. Many companies move to change systems and structures and create new policies and processes but fail to address the underlying mind-sets and capabilities of the people who will execute it.

A new s...

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Companies that only look outward in the process of organizational change, and dismiss individual learning and adaptation make two common mistakes:

  • They focus solely on business outcomes and fail to appreciate that people will have to adapt to implement it.
  • They focus too much o...

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Individuals have their own beliefs, priorities, values, and fears that influence how they respond to different actions. Looking inward is then a way to examine your own modes of operating to learn what makes you behave in a certain way.

Those who seek to lead effectively should look at the...

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Looking inward

There are two dimensions of looking inward that lead to self-understanding.

  1. Profile awareness. It is the recognition of habits of thought, emotions, hopes, and behavior in various circumstances and the impact they have on others.
  2. State awareness. It is the recogni...

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State awareness is more than just "a state of mind." It involves the perception of a wide range of inner experiences in the present moment and the impact on your behavior.

Many senior executives know that they show negative behavior under pressure, but are not aware that they continue th...

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Learning to look inward in the process of organizational transformation helps individuals to align what they intend with what they actually say and do, to influence others. This is known as the performance gap.

This kind of learning awakens the full leader within you. It expands your capaci...

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It is not enough to use various assessment tools, because we all possess the full range of qualities these assessments identify to varying degrees. You need a more nuanced approach that recognizes your inner complexity. Some questions would include:

  • What are the main parts of your p...

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Map the Big Four. The Big Four can be thought of as an internal leadership team that occupies an internal executive suite:

  1. the chief executive officer (CEO), or inspirational Dreamer; 
  2. the chief financial officer (CFO), or analytical Thinker; 
  3. the chief people of...

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People who fail to notice when they are becoming annoyed, judgmental, or defensive in the moment are not choosing how to behave. We all need an inner "lookout."

It is critical during a period of organizational change that the senior executives collectively adopt the lookout role for the org...

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Translate awareness into organizational change. Those open eyes will be better able to spot obstacles to organizational change.

For instance, a company becomes aware that the absence of coaching is stifling progress. When looking deeper, it is established that there is a negative bias t...

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While dealing with resistance and fear is often necessary, it’s rarely enough to take an organization to the next level. Organizations must unlock the full potential of individuals.

It starts with learning to lead yourself. It is best done by questioning some core assumptions about yourself...

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