Training Magazine Middle East September 2014 - Page 38



COLUMN - Spotlight On Change

Change is undoubtedly the arena of leaders. Evolved leaders see the future before others whilst representing hope for a better tomorrow. Where does that ability come from and how can it be encouraged in the workplace?

From Frustration to Hope

The need for change is driven primarily by the fact that something no longer serves well in the current environment where priorities may have changed.

Take Steve Jobs who could no longer accept redundant clicks and clunky technology, or Nelson Mandela who could no longer accept inequality on the basis of the colour of one’s skin. Kouzes and Posner, co-authors of ‘The Leadership Challenge’, tell the story of a scientist who specialized in the area of chemical catalysts.

She happened to visit a cancer hospital for children, observing them shooting down enemies on computer games whilst receiving chemotherapy treatment and envisioned a future where these games would be customized for oncology patients, showing the enemy cells being struck down by chemotherapy drugs.

Pam Omidyar designed and patented these games, which now are available in Hope Lab in the US; a great initiative indeed for children to understand the reality of their medical treatment.

Not only do true leaders know what’s important to them and recognize the frustration a non-serving situation creates, but they also believe they can do something to rectify or improve it, thereby creating more hope, ease, convenience, efficiency and effectiveness.

This change becomes their responsibility, as they consider the future through a new lens and influence others to do the same.

Instilling a culture of self-leadership in the workplace

The business environment is a great place for change to be facilitated – it is, after-all, the world’s leading institution. But what needs to happen to allow a leader to excel in creating new futures, no matter what his or her title may be?

The following fundamentals, some from Kouzes’ and Posner’s The Leadership Challenge, may shed some light:

a. Leadership is everyone’s business.

The executive leadership in a workplace must recognize that each and every person is capable of being a leader, even without the title. Leaders naturally want to perform well at all times, and hence whether it is a secretary suggesting a change to the daily report, or a gardener recommending the latest tool to ensure the grass efficient and visually-appealing way, self-leadership is in action.