There is one phrase I hear more than any other when working with senior managers on leading change. It usually goes something like this:
“that’s all very well…but what about the day job?“
Almost without exception, these experienced and very capable people focus on the day to day, the here and now, rather than the future.
Perhaps more than this, they have failed to grasp the notion that change, and their drive for it, IS their day job! As Dr John Kotter once said, “Leadership produces change. That is its primary function“.
Yet despite this wisdom, leaders in many organisations continue to miss the point. Why is this?
Could it be that it is safer? For dealing with the known is always more preferable than the unknown, eh?
Or could it be that the role has been set up that way? Maybe there is a job description or a bunch of competencies that support the misguided notion of ‘the day job’.
Or could it possibly be that leaders fail to let go of what they have done en route to becoming a leader?
Most senior managers have been promoted for their ability to over perform in the tasks they now lead. It is widely accepted that the ability to be a great leader is not dependent on that, but have we stopped to consider that it could even be a drawback!
Perhaps it is simply the old mindset of getting the job done rather than making a difference.
Whatever the reason, it is time to reset your focus of attention to being a leader of change. Let this become your day job and the rest can take care of that other stuff!