Home Diversity & Inclusion Leadership IS change

Leadership IS change

Change signifies leadership applied. Management denotes static administration.


So you take over as department head of a large organization which has been in existence for over 20 years. All is well and the operations are turning over smoothly with adequate profitability and no hardcore issues. Do you sit in comfort at a cushy job or do you want more? If you want more, if you want to gain, move forward, achieve, you have to do something that is not being done, as of now. That moves your status from “Managing” to “Leading”.

Driving transformation is simpler than it sounds. Any change brought on, may it be behavioral, process based, approach based or driven by needs, is change, nonetheless. Bringing about this change, good or bad, makes one a leader. Not simply managing an existing setup.

Simply by being who one is, may bring on change. Sitting late, coming in early, being pushy or easy, results-driven or service focused etc. all impacts the environment you work in. If you’re the boss, everyone tends to lean in towards your mode of work ethic, your focus areas, your likes & dislikes. This brings change (Good or bad) and this could be seen as “leading by example”.

Change is a constant though. It creeps in even if it was not meant to be. Things change. Our environment changes, our competition changes, technology changes and so on. If we are on top of this then we are leading the charge (change).

Leading change can also be proactive and dynamic. It does not mean you see the tilt of history and decide to move with it. You create the change, you bring in the elements that will bring about the change you desire. You proactively change.

A broad-based change initiative requires more than oneself. You need to bring people along and ensure trust is built along the way. Demonstrate empathy, show that you are emotionally intelligent and constantly identify barriers to change. Certain barriers may just be the people’s inability to see why it is necessary. It could be that they feel threatened, or unsure, or may fear failure, may fear change itself, may not feel ready for the change or may not see the urgency or the necessity to change.

So when we say “Leadership IS change” it signifies change brought on, not waiting for change around you. The smallest “tweak” to one’s environment, process, product, mode of work etc. could bring on change, and may have the butterfly affect. Ripples in the water. Knock-0n impact. Snowball influence. At least one hopes. Even if it remains within the persons realm, at least it was change brought on by them.

Leadership, by position, or by influence. Either way, one has the wherewithal to bring on change. So why not at least try? In the end, leading denotes change. Good or bad.

Bite the bullet and like Nike says, Just do it.

Opinion Piece: Uzair Hassan, CEO, 3H Solutions Group, Dubai, UAE