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The Dotted Line: Change the Way You Lead Change

Change the Way You Lead Change

Wouldn’t it be easier if someone else could do the hard parts of your job for you?
There are days I wish could send someone to the gym for me. When I suddenly get thirsty while in the middle of something I really enjoy, I would love to dispatch a surrogate to have a drink of water on my behalf.
That would be wonderful, but these are jobs I must do myself.
Just like using the restroom can’t be out-sourced, neither can change initiatives and engagement projects. At least in these instances you can hire smart people to help you set the strategy and create a plan. You can also bring on extra hands to assist with the added workload. What you can’t do is say, “You go change these things while I stay here and do the parts of my job that I like better. Let me know when you’re done.”
Change and engagement require leadership and demand wide-spread participation.
When I headed up communications departments, there was always a limit to my effectiveness. It didn’t matter how aesthetically pleasing my newsletters were, how well-written my press releases were, or how well-constructed my speeches were if the leaders in the organization were not reinforcing the messages. My work was only as good as the communicators delivering it and only as influential as the leaders themselves.
Change and engagement aren’t the jobs of one person or one department.
I see this problem play out in most every organization I work with: the communications and human resources departments, as well as the change management team, are told to “get the message out” as if the work isn’t a company-wide effort. The more people in your organization who have leadership and communications skills that will inspire and engage others, the more even the workload will be and the more complete your initiative will be.
Leading change and driving engagement can feel lonely. Start building a team around you by focusing on the skills gaps that might leave your potential allies on the sidelines of change. Once you assess and address the communications and leadership deficiencies, you’ll be able to fold them into your team. When your stakeholders transform into advocates, leading change becomes less lonely.

Free Gift to Develop Your Leadership Skills


Good leaders are coming to understand that business storytelling can improve their effectiveness and ability to manage change, align team, convey strategy, and engage stakeholders.
Even if you recognize the importance of storytelling, sometimes is can be difficult to identify good stories to tell. You don’t have to look far to find stories. Drawing from your own experiences is the best way to authentically lead. With some training and practice, you can turn your experiences into meaningful anecdotes.
Character Trumps Credentials was written by the world-renowned business storytelling authorities from Anecdote. Based on their more than 10 years of business storytelling expertise, this 47-page eBook was created to help leaders find stories to tell in the workplace.
From the introduction:

People want to know what their leaders stand for. What do they care about? What have they done? What are they capable of doing? And most importantly, what are they likely to do next? That’s why people will listen when a leader tells stories that reveal their own character, stories that can then be shared. This happens all the time – naturally.

The book contains 171 story-eliciting questions that will help you build a story repertoire. The questions cover 34 categories, including Diversity, Trust, Courage, and Loyalty, and are designed to trigger your memory about stories that shaped your style and define your value system. The better you are able to communicate what is important to you and why, the better you will be able to influence, engage and inspire.
I’m pleased to offer you a free copy of this valuable resource.

Lead Bigger, Lead Better

Big change doesn’t originate from behind a microphone or from atop a stage. Leaders move mountains with many small actions and informal conversations. I’d love to help you grow your influence by teaching you some small but mighty ways to make your actions and words more powerful.
By popular demand, I opened two leadership communications coaching spots for March. If you are ready to improve the way you lead change, inspire action, influence others, and engage your team, then contact me about claiming one of these openings.
Connected Strategy Group was founded by Amanda Marko, president and chief connection officer, to help leaders increase their influence through deeper connections that enhance the effectiveness of business strategy, change management, employee engagement, and corporate culture initiatives. Amanda was the first in the U.S. to partner with Australia-based Anecdote to deliver their Storytelling for Leaders program. Storytelling complements her consulting work to help leaders better influence, engage, and inspire others.

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