The ‘Power-Pack’ of Change - Part 2
Change is hard yet the need to change is a constant. Why aren’t we better at it? In recent blogs I have shared my observations of the common attributes of managers who commit to change, and succeed. There are four components, I call them the ‘Power-Pack’, and the key requirement of the Pack is that all must be present for real change to occur. The four attributes of people and managers committed to change are:
- They believe it is necessary for personal and/or professional gain and fulfillment.
- They have confidence to engage people in more productive ways.
- They have patient but persistent leaders or guides.
- They are able to get help and offer help to peers.
This post addresses Attribute #2:
They have confidence to engage people in more productive ways.
Confidence is contagious!
As a youth baseball coach I once had a kid that despite my urging refused to steal a base. When asked why he refused, this normally confident kid declared ‘I was afraid I would make an out, and I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed.’ Even with direction he took the safe route, which in the end wasn’t safe. He risked losing the confidence of coaches, and his own confidence was rattled. By staying put, he fell back. What’s a coach or manager to do?
To the members of a team, a confident manager makes the difference between inspired commitment and plodding routine. What do we mean by confidence? Ask their direct reports. Every year a few of our clients ask their trained team members to tell us how they use their new skills and also how their managers have most contributed to their success. Their top responses:
- My boss frees up my time so that I can improve. (He supports re-prioritization)
- My manager knows and employs the skills as I do. (She walks in the team member’s shoes)
- My boss requires me to practice the skills. (She takes part in role-play)
- My manager gives me timely and honest feedback. (Made credible by their prior involvement)
And the greatest of the above is ‘#1’, especially in an environment of change. A manager who has the confidence to adjust priorities inspires the team and invests more in their success.
A manager that addresses change by simply piling on more work drains the team’s energy and spirit.
How did we get that kid to steal a base? We practiced, we talked about sharing the risk, and we got other team members to cheer him on.