“A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless … someone’s got to make a wake-up call.” – Warren Bennis
You are the new leader. Your predecessor, Marty, was a nice person but under his leadership, the organization continued to struggle, people were not engaged and Marty tried to gloss over problems by giving inspirational speeches and pep talks but rarely backed them with ideas and action. The truth was Marty couldn’t face reality. He couldn’t be honest with everyone and say, “Hey, we got some problems and here they are.”
Max De Pree in Leadership is an Art said that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. Jack Welch of GE said about reality; “Face the facts and don’t flinch.”
A strong leader has to be willing to face the cold hard facts and then communicate them to the entire organization.
Here are some suggestions:
Lead with your beliefs & talents – let others know what you stand for and the talents you have
Be honest – be willing to reveal the good, the bad and the ugly as you see it
Be positive – lead with a positive mindset and begin to develop a positive culture
Have a plan – don’t bring up problems without suggestions and plans for solutions
Listen & learn – conduct an open forum with the purpose of gaining information
Seek advice – admit you don’t have all the answers and demonstrate your willingness for suggestions and solutions
New leaders need to establish the proper atmosphere for collaboration. Demonstrate immediately that you intend to involve everyone, listen, seek advice and work together find the best solution for everyone and the organization.