5 Ways to Sabotage Change and Mistakenly Lead Stakeholders Astray

picture of twisted road Sabotage Change and Lead Stakeholders Astray

Do You Sabotage Change?
Few leaders realize how often employees look to them for inspiration and for an example of how to behave within the strategic and cultural framework of the organization. It is a huge responsibility to have a legion of followers because eyes are on you all the time.  Is it possible that you unknowingly sabotage change efforts?

A Big Opportunity
Leadership is a big opportunity to shape the way your employees handle change.  To do it right, you must avoid the pitfalls of leaders who mismanage change and sometimes unknowingly sabotage change.  Do not mistakenly lead your key stakeholders into dangerous shoals.

5 Ways to Sabotage Change and Lead Stakeholders Astray
There are so many ways to do mess up important change initiatives.  If you are seriously committed to effecting positive change within your organization, get some change management training help to ensure that you are not exhibiting any of the five ways you can lead your employees astray and sabotage crucial change initiatives:

  1. Lack of Clarity
    Unless you are crystal clear about the need and direction for change, your employees are left on their own and apt to work at cross purposes. Every single worker should know what piece of the change they are responsible for and why. Give them the guidance they need and stay actively involved to adjust their actions as needed.
  2. Lack of Conviction
    You must be personally convinced that the change is absolutely necessary for the future health of your team and the company. If you waver or withdraw support at the first sign of difficulty, your change initiative will lose momentum and likely fail. Organizational change is never easy and many employees will naturally resist the desired new ways of doing things.  The role of a leader is to define the path and hold to it so others will follow along.
  3. Lack of Accountability
    For change to succeed, employees need to feel that there is something in it for them as individuals. As they make efforts to follow your lead, make sure you recognize them appropriately. And if they work counter to the direction of change, make sure there are proportionate consequences.  If there is no positive reward for the right behaviors or negative consequences for the wrong deeds, employees will act as they always have – it’s the path of least resistance for them.
  4. Lack of Involvement
    It is not enough to point toward a compelling goal. Good leaders must set the example as they strive to model the new way. Every time you have an opportunity to point out the new priorities or support the change in a public way, do so. It is critical that you change first because you are the most visible guide for the transition.
  5. Lack of Interest in Input
    Stay tuned in to your workforce. To keep on target, you need to be aware of any real resistance or opposition to change. Keep your ear to the ground and ask regularly how things are going.  Chances are that, if you keep an open mind and actively encourage thoughtful suggestions, you will get some valuable input from the front lines.

    The more you listen to and actively involve your key stakeholders and those affected by change, the more they will feel valued and committed to the path you have defined.

The Bottom Line
As a leader, remember that you are carefully watched at all times. Take advantage of this opportunity to get organizational change right.  Are you avoiding the five traps that catch too many inexperienced change leaders?

To learn more about getting organizational change right, download 5 Science-Backed Lenses of Change Leadership 

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