Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Americans’ questions metaphor for employee concerns

I found myself reflecting this morning on how the questions posed by Americans during the presidential debate last night serve as a metaphor for what, in my experience, employees are looking for from their leaders—particularly during a change initiative: And here’s what I heard the underlying messages to be:

– Please acknowledge the challenges we’re currently experiencing and weathering.
– Tell us where we’re headed as an organization. What specifically is your plan or strategy? What can we expect over the next year?
– How will your plan benefit and affect us as a team? And how will it benefit and affect me personally?
– Help us trust that you’re telling the truth and that you’ll keep your word.
– We’re made up of different cultures, perspectives, and varied skills. Can we count on you to respect, engage and represent all of us equally?
– Are you just talking with us now to get our buy-in, or can we count on you to keep us informed and engaged throughout the change initiative?

It can take anywhere from one to three years to implement a significant organizational change in an organization of 1,000 people. And the success in doing so in any size organization is heavily dependent on the leader’s ability to build trust and communicate effectively at the onset and throughout the change.

Wow, can you imagine having to lead a change initiative for a country of 300 million people?


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