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Change leader, change thyself

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https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/change-leader-change-thyself

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Change leader, change thyself
Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, famously wrote, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." Tolstoy's dictum is a useful starting point for any executive engaged in organizational change. After years of collaborating in efforts to advance the practice of leadership and cultural transformation, we've become convinced that organizational change is inseparable from individual change.

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Leo Tolstoy

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

Leo Tolstoy

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About change

Organizations don’t change. People change. Many companies move to change systems and structures and create new policies and processes but fail to address&...

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Looking both ways

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 ...

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The meaning of looking inward

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 ...

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Looking inward

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 va...

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State awareness 

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 exec...

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The performance gap

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 per...

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Closing the gaps

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 ...

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Profile awareness

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...

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Develop state awareness

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...

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Awareness and organizational change

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 c...

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One change catalyst

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...

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The speed of change

The amount of data generated doubles every two years, reflecting a

Communicate your leadership signature

A leadership signature: Who you are as a leader and how you view and approach the job. 

  • Discover your leadership signature by asking how you lead day by day. Are you task or people focussed? 
  • Ask people who work with you how they would describe your leadership.
  • Consider the impact you have. Are you changing the culture? Driving results?

Be a sense maker

Sensemaking refers to the process of creating meaning out of the chaotic world around us.

We need to make sense when something in our environment seems to have changed. We collect data, learn from others, look for patterns to create a new map of the landscape. Then we experiment with new solutions to see how it will respond to this new environment.

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The Pressure Of Time

Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, the...

Sustainable Productivity

Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.

Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.

Phantom Workload

Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.

Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.

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The Conscience of an Organization

Certain organizations have the capacity to transform themselves, if the leader who is in charge, has the vision and the will for it.

It's not very often that short-term profitability and a se...

The Power of One

A leader with clarity of conscience and a readiness to speak up can make a difference, and contribute to the greater good of humanity.

Cultural change can be made possible even if a middle-level or lower-level manager puts together a radical vision and gathers momentum from his peers.

Sequential skill development

Taking challenges continuously, big or small, contributes to your 'challenge taking' skill-building, preparing you for bigger milestones in the future.

The skills that are built, eventually operate in different areas, sometimes in unplanned and unanticipated situations. 

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