BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Change is Good

Posted by ywmguest on December 29, 2009

We love our network of working women. YWM encourages you to lead in times of change. Today’s guest blogger is Leanna Cruz.

As the economy settles there will be a new way to get things done and the most deserving leaders will rise. Everyone is facing opportunities but only a few will recognize theirs and then get past the fear and defensiveness to rise to the occasion and succeed. Critical to this rise to leadership is demonstrating the skills required for organizational success during change. Times of change present an opportunity to demonstrate leadership strengths.

Align yourself with the immediate need of the organization for a workforce which is adaptable, flexible and willing to adjust.
On the other side of this recession are opportunities to reinvent the way business is done for future growth. Strategies to maintain a competitive edge will result in constant change. What you may experience is chaos and frustration. You may experience unexplained termination of assignments which you had put a great deal of energy into. You may experience a continuous change in coworkers, bosses and responsibilities. You may even feel like nobody knows what they are doing.

You won’t like it and neither will those you may feel are responsible. But, this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your leadership skills. Hone your knowledge about organizational change and change management and be an advocate for change in your organization.

Be an advocate of change.
Take the initiative and help to create a culture which reacts quickly and positively. Change is unpleasant, but those who don’t adapt, who resist and slow down progress or disconnect will be left behind. Shifting with the tide is necessary. Slowing down until the dust settles, or to see where industry is heading may seem to make more sense than constantly changing. But this is not an option in competitive markets. In the past a slow response time was acceptable- no longer. In those good old days competition wasn’t as threatening. The constant and rapid changes resulting from our global economy, improvements in technology and ‘the way work gets done’ calls for a shift in attitude.

Become a valuable asset.
Organizations are looking for leaders who will take initiative, solve problems and take on change with confidence and a positive attitude. Don’t sit around waiting to see what orders will be sent down from the C-level. Be an advocate for the future- stay on top of the organization’s momentum. Know what is going on. Ask questions of those who are likely to be up-to-date, especially when stress levels and frustration is high. Chief executives have been told that during times of crisis and change, keeping the workforce informed is necessary to maintain moral; but often they are so engrossed in creating the future that they forget to come up for air to announce progress. This is when you need to take initiative, ask questions and keep up.

Where there is a problem there is an opportunity.
If you have heard the grumbles as a result of change, you have been shown your opportunity. Hone your change management skills and be an advocate for change. Then build other leadership capabilities; because on the other side of the crisis, will be more opportunity.

Leanna Cruz is editorial director for Positively Magazine a personal and professional development magazine. The Positively Successful issue has several articles and stories with ideas to tailor your career to maximize your elevation to the C-Suite.

photo credit

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