The third Practice of Exemplary Leadership through the Leadership Challenge is Challenging the Process.
There is an old saying that I am sure you have heard… “Be the change you want to see in the world”
In order to do this, we must continually search for opportunities to change the status quo. We must continue to look for innovative ways to improve our organizations. In doing so, we have to experiment and take risks. As a leader, you know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, we need to accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities.
Let’s face it… It sometimes seems impossible that anything that we can do, as an individual will have much impact on the world around us. And it can seem pretty scary to challenge the process!We need to consistently challenge ourselves to seek out opportunities to do not what is easy and convenient, but what is hard and difficult. Because through this we grow, we help others around us to grow and our organizations see the benefit of or work.
Leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to improve the organization. In doing so, they experiment and take risks. Since complex change threatens to overwhelm people and stifle action, leaders set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives. Effective leaders unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action. And, because leaders know that taking risks involves mistakes and failures, they accept occasional disappointments as opportunities to learn.
Challenging the process can be difficult, especially in many organizations where there are a significant number of “rules” and “procedures”. Check out this awesome video by Gib Bulloch – https://youtu.be/5KYWJdU9Ltw. He shares his personal story of how he became the Founder and Executive Director of Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) and how he Challenged the Process to enable NGO’s around the globe to start addressing the world’s big issues.
Pretty amazing that just one person can set into motion a cascade of change, huh?
Now here is a challenge for you… Think of just one thing within your organization that you would like to increase over the next 30 days or within the next quarter? Start with just one thing… focus on that with all of your energy and engage those around you. I think you will be surprised when you look back on your efforts how successful you have been in making substantive change happen by challenging the process.
My leadership journey began more than than 25 years ago with The Leadership Challenge, the most trusted source on becoming a better leader. So far, more than 2 million copies of the book have been published in over in over 20 languages. Based on Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner’s extensive global research, this life changing approach to leadership and their enduring work is critical to help us navigate the world of work today. The basic premise is that leadership is a relationship that must be nurtured and, most important, that it can be learned.
Over the last 25 years, Dr. Robert Shindell has served as an experiential education thought leader and practitioner, as well as a senior administrator in both public and private institutions of higher education. Through his highly acclaimed Total Internship Management Workshop, Dr. Robert Shindell has trained thousands of employers to build and sustain meaningful internship programs across the country. He has also worked with hundreds of colleges and universities in the workforce development area, as well as developing comprehensive strategic initiatives, supporting plan implementation, and building successful teams.