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The Inner Chief

Sep 23, 2018

Today, we will cover 7 vital steps that leaders often get wrong in leading transformation but when they get them right it accelerates change and makes it far less stressful.
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A very trusted friend of our family is the COO of a national law firm. In the first paragraph of his profile he outlines his expertise in professional services firm leadership. He details how, as COO, he led a company from $3M turnover to over $100M in 8 years. Those are some seriously impressive numbers. They demand attention and they give him immediate credibility when he walks in the room.

Few executives ever rise to the top without leaving behind them a clear record of transformation. CEOs are looking for leaders who can demonstrate how they’ve innovated, led significant change and succeeded without leaving a trail of destruction.

Everything up to this point has been preparing you to make a standout impression when your target CEO is reviewing candidates for an executive position. A track record of transformation makes you pop off the page at the resume stage and gives you the real-world stories of transformation you can describe in interviews—ones you can back up with hard numbers.

A track record of success is the rocket fuel of any upward career trajectory. It builds unrivalled credibility and magnetically attracts exciting new opportunities. It shows you can unite people to a cause and smash politicking and bureaucracy. It does much more than make a jump to the executive team achievable—it makes it inevitable.

But in reality if you’re doing it just for your career you’re in it for the wrong reasons. In the words of Jack London,

““I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.”
—Jack London

All great Chiefs are dissatisfied with the status quo. They want to be one turn ahead of their competitors, so they apply a critical lens to everything, even what is currently working tolerably well. They know that present success guarantees nothing. There’s no such thing as a future-proof strategy. Standing still is the same thing as lying down and waiting to be buried.

Most managers know that they have to lead transformation to make that next big leap in their careers, but making the change happen in the real world is a complex task riddled with pitfalls.

Whole books have been written on Leading and navigating change and the work of John Kotter and others is a solid base that all leaders should know. 
Today, we will cover 7 vital steps that leaders often get wrong in leading transformation but when they get them right it accelerates change and makes it far less stressful.
I’ve been in the trenches and coached teams from losing to making millions. I’ve done it in multiple industries and continents. I’ve seen first hand where it goes wrong...and how the incredible strain on those leading the change. The teams and chiefs I’ve worked with that got it right are some of the most inspiring people I’ve met. It has been truly a privilege to play a support role to their enormous efforts.

The reason I have picked these is because in the trenches of significant change this is where most leaders really struggle or make a critical mistake that costs them victory or delays it for long periods.  
They are: 
  • Assess the current situation first
  • Set a vision and strategy that unites the leadership team the keep checking in
  • Be courageous and bold
  • Deeply engage stakeholders
  • Raise the bar on standards
  • Set a clear and right sized tactical plan
  • Make it fun and a rich human experience
For full summary go to: