Two posts ago, I wrote about change and the need to frame it in a positive manner. Leaders often go to great lengths to prepare for change and deliver the news about change in a positive manner (including media presentations, balloons, lunches, guest speakers, you name it). After the early hype, leaders–often unwittingly–send less then positive vibes about the change.
1) After the announcement, they disappear
One of the unfortunate consequences of a couple of decades of focus on "leader as visionary" is that leaders believe their role is done after the announcement. When leaders believe their role is "to vision" and everyone else’s role is "to execute" trouble is bound to emerge. I’m not advocating micromanagement, but true involvement in process.
2) They delegate to much of the ongoing strategy to others
Because of the "leader as visionary" mindset, leaders also have viewed strategy as something that occurs during the vision process (up front), rather than as an ongoing adaptation that allows the organization to alter and reform the vision when internal and/or external forces require it.
3) They complain about reactions and slow progress
Senior leaders deflate positive change, when they step away from the podium and roll their eyes or complain incessantly that "people aren’t getting it." Further, they can damage a vibe by sitting in their office (back to number 1) and sniping at progress.
So…instead, a leader should:
1) Stay close to people during the change
2) Remain a chief strategist throughout the process
3) Create urgency and engender productivity through inspiration