I received a call from an organization that was interested in my Activate workshop to handle a behavioral problem in the organization that was creating roadblocks to success. The caller was not a senior leader, but someone in the talent organization. I asked them to introduce the CEO and they declined saying, “Mr. X has asked us to deal with the challenges we are facing; he doesn’t like to deal with these personal, behavioral issues.”

I politely declined the opportunity to work with them.

In my experience, senior leaders are essential to leading transformative change – particularly when that change requires changing behavior in the organization. If the leader is unable to model the desired behavior, it will be many times more difficult to successfully change behaviors in the organization, if at all.

Here are three traits I look for in leaders of successful transformational change:

  1. They realize and are open about the fact that they do not have all the answers. They are willing to engage with others on a peer-to-peer basis to learn more about the impact they are having on the transformation. They are willing to personally confront their own insecurities and act to ensure these don’t negatively impact the transformation.
  2. Leaders have the courage to face other leaders and their employees. They are willing to have difficult conversations with those who might require it. They are willing to reveal more about major challenges. They are more genuine in their approach to the transformation when interacting with others.
  3. Selfless leaders do what it takes to lead through the transformation. They eliminate selfishness from their lives. They give freely of their time and energy to drive things forward. And they do all of this with little thought about the cost to them personally.

Call to action: Set aside one hour to reflect on these traits. Determine how you measure up. Define steps or changes in your own behavior to implement greater effectiveness in your transformational leadership.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve

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