Personal Responsibility: The One for All Approach
We are all familiar with Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world”; however, there is often a lot of resistance when it comes to applying this within an organisational framework. People generally don’t want to put themselves on the line, or be the leaders of change within an organisation. The reality of this is that we are quick to identify the changes needed, both in systems and in others, but rarely take on the responsibility of being the agent of change. This is understandable; however, the good news is that we can start… small. By committing to change on a personal level, we can in turn influence change in the greater whole.
As mentioned before, organisations are systemic organisms, which means that a successful organisation relies on the flexibility, growth and commitment of each individual within the whole. In order for us to manage effective change, we need to implement these changes within ourselves first. This process is important for each individual within the organisation, but perhaps even more importantly, it needs to be the leaders who engage in the change first.
As proactive leaders, there is the tendency to see the focus points for change or the development areas of others, and while this is a necessary and key role of management, we can often forget to include ourselves. The reality of this can result in the misalignment between expectations of others versus expectations of ourselves. We cannot expect others to make changes we are not willing to commit to ourselves.
Role Modelling: A Solid Foundation for Building Trust and Commitment
Remember the saying: “Do as I say, not as I do”? Leadership role modelling is when leaders embody the expectations they have of others. Rather than making external changes, the leader is willing to make changes within themselves first, to become role models of the new and desired change. For example: If you want people to ask for feedback more regularly, you should probably start asking for feedback yourself. By buying into a new culture or process yourself, you are in fact creating a spin-off effect where people will be more motivated to take on new beliefs and behaviours.
Leadership role modelling is a powerful way to elicit effective change in your organisation as it grows trust and presents a living example of the positive impact of the change in your organisation.
- Here are some key attributes to being a good role model:
- High standards for yourself
- An open-minded approach to learning and feedback Integrity
- Value congruence