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16 February 2010

7 Steps to Reinventing Your Leadership Style

How often have you heard people say “if I could just start over again, I would…” and statements of that type? Please read the following statement and then stop for a few moments and just think about it.

“If you want to completely reinvent your leadership style, you can. But you must plan well and then deliver the message in a compelling and convincing manner, after which you must be prepared to be totally and unflinchingly consistent in your newly established role.”

The procedure for accomplishing this can be summarized in the following ‘7 steps’

1) First, establish a new Strategic Plan replete with new company and office goals to be attained. Work collaboratively with key agents, financial and strategic advisers etc.

2) Prepare an in depth presentation for delivering the new strategic plan to your group. Here you must be creative and use charts, graphs, visuals and other presenters to corroborate the data and sell the new plan. You need to deliver a strong presentation & never forget that it is to a degree, a performance.

a.  Reveal the new goals
b.  Demonstrate future results, assuming all goals are achieved
c.  In other words, it is critical to paint the picture!

3) Hold a maximum impression meeting. That is, hold the meeting in an unusual place or at an atypical time and make it mandatory for everyone to attend. Make the meeting special in any way that you think is appropriate in order to achieve the maximum amount of positive impression (i.e. posters, displays, PowerPoint, live On-line demonstrations, food etc.) for your attendees.

4) Make the presentation, paint the new picture and without fail, get your salespeople and staff to buy in and become excited about the new direction. Warning: This step is absolutely critical! Make it logical and make it compelling. No one can tell you what will get your people excited, because you know them best. As you plan for this meeting be sure that you have enough strength and depth built into your presentation to get even the most challenging personality to ‘buy in.’

5) Once the presentation is made, gain commitment from each individual, in writing, to support the new company goals.

6) This next step is the key to our original goal of ‘reinventing’ ourselves. Clearly explain, by giving examples, how your behaviors as leader/manager will need to change in order to bring the company or office to the newly targeted level. This could include:

a.  Blocking out time in your day for talent attraction calls (i.e. changes in ‘office hours’ etc.)
b.  New accountabilities to be enforced
c.  New budgetary measures to be implemented
d.  Advertising and marketing changes

Once you have your agent’s agreement on these points, you essentially have bridged the gap to a new set of leadership behaviors.  From this point on, if any agent questions why you are doing a certain thing or why things are different from before, all that you need to do is remind them that the entire office agreed on the new direction and that you are simply supporting that ‘new company vision.’

7) Finally the die is cast, but you must now be unflinchingly consistent. From this point on, your agents will interpret any variation from the plan as indecisiveness and non-committal behavior. This is especially true in the early months of the new initiative(s). As long as you remain consistent, you will have succeeded in reinventing your management style.

Congratulations in advance!

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