The Magic of Change


The benefit of a crisis is the permission it gives leaders and managers to challenge “how we did it” in the past and make radical change.  But, successfully implementing change and surviving a crisis is not a given. 

Successful change, especially in a time of uncertainty, involves much more than deciding what to change or how different your approach might be. The real magic, according to Xerox CEO, Anne Mulcahy, is the support and commitment of your people.  

Take 2 minutes and listen to Anne Mulcahy describe the role of the people in the turnaround of Xerox.

Xerox CEO, Anne Mulcahy

These are times of extraordinary change and your people will be your greatest asset or your greatest liability.  Which will it be for you?

The most natural and sometimes easier thing to do is focus on the processes and tactical plans.  Bringing people along and motivating them can be difficult and sometimes draining.  But, the real magic is in creating committed followers who want you and the organization to succeed.  

Improve your probability of success during this crisis…

1.  Spend significant time talking to people about the state of the business.

2.  Demonstrate a genuine sense of optimism that you can survive and be successful into the future.

3.  Ask your people to give their best.  

4.  Inspire people to “sign up, roll up their sleeves and participate.”  

In the words of Anne Mulcahy, “If you’ve got your people behind you, you can come out of [crisis] much stronger.”


First Who – Then What

If these economic challenges reveal nothing else, we are made painfully aware that business survival and success comes down to having committed, capable and adaptable people.

You can take the guess work out of finding the right people with the Player-Coach Leader® approach. 

Addressing the turbulence business is encountering, Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, says, “I see nothing to contradict the principle that who comes first and what comes second, for a very simple reason: 

If you cannot predict the what, you have to be able to do a good job with the who, because the what is going to be constantly shifting” (April 2009 Inc. magazine, p. 82).  

How are you doing with the Who?  

To meet profitability goals in the face of downturn, many leaders find themselves terminating the Who.  

The decision to terminate people, even the low performers, has many unintended consequences.  The most significant consequence, however, is the impact staff reductions will have on your higher performers.  Impact that will range from becoming over-worked and losing heart to seeking better opportunities elsewhere.   Read the rest of this entry »


Transform Economic Anxiety Into Progress and Growth

If you’ve heard me speak in a seminar or you’re one of my executive coaching clients, you know that I believe effective leaders are great coaches. 

Leadership changes attitudes, but coaching changes behavior! 

My colleague and co-author of COACHING THE BEST TO BE GREAT seminar, Dr. Michael O’Connor says, “Without effective coaching, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior for most people.”

People get trapped in comfort zones and unproductive patterns of behavior if their thinking and actions are not challenged in a constructive way.  Effective leaders know this and engage their people through consistent coaching that changes behavior for positive outcomes. 

The current economic turmoil is causing anxiety in your people at a time when you need them to be at their best.  So, the opportunity for you is to transform that anxiety into strategic growth, increased marketshare and personal achievement.  How is this possible, you ask?  It is possible if you coach your best performers to see what’s possible and to challenge the obstacles.

“Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do.  Because then they will act.”   Jack Welch

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