The importance of people in leadership and managing change

Communicating easily with a leader makes a team more productive
A leader's ability to empower, train, and develop a team with a real sense of enthusiasm ensures every outcome is authentic.

In all societies, regardless of their differences, there are those who lead and those who follow. This is all part of human nature; we’re all created with varying temperaments, interests, hobbies, and ambitions. Some of us are natural leaders who love to take initiative in any group setting, while there are others who prefer to work in solitude and at their own pace.

The smallest family unit, corporate business, and even country all need one thing in common. They need an intelligent and compassionate leader to be able to make a family, a company, or a government the best it can be. A successful leader is one who has the flexibility and ability to influence and manage changes, both external and internal. 

While internal changes that occur within an organization may be easier to control, changes that are influenced by external forces are more challenging to manage and make a leader's role more crucial to manage successfully. When a team is faced with external challenges, its leader has to remain calm, and transparent, and be able to use the trust he has earned with his team to successfully guide them through the crisis. 

The ability to communicate easily with a leader makes a team comfortable, more productive, proactive, and able to understand and master what needs to be done. A leader who is a good listener, empathetic, and welcomes feedback will be able to contribute more to the success of the organization, and his/her ability to empower, coach, and enthusiastically develop a team will ensure every outcome is authentic. What's more, a leader who fosters high team morale will generate positive energy and  enthusiasm that will be highly contagious. As an example, one of the people who worked with Elon Musk, in the early stages of SpaceX, said that the real driver behind the project's success was Elon's enthusiasm for space travel.

Leaders in every field or sector must be carefully chosen. Leadership is not purely theoretical. Rather, it needs people to apply what they have learned with a high degree of skill and emotional intelligence. As much as leadership is celebrated, it’s people and their emotions that are at the core, because a leader has to have the ability to influence, inspire, and persuade.

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, leaders have changed history and charted new beginnings and a different world for the Arabian Peninsula from the beginning of the first Saudi state. This success is due to the mutual trust and the emotional relationship between the people and the king, and the shared sense of responsibility towards achieving the ambition of the nation. Today, the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which, thanks to the wise leadership, has become the vision and dream of every citizen, as it came to be from the nation and to the nation.

Leadership needs persuasiveness, communication skills, emotional intelligence, and the art of dialogue. Ideal thoughts and precise strategies are of no value if they fail to move our emotions in the right direction and motivates us to implement these strategies. Real leaders are those who guide us to where we need to be with a clear vision and adept  strategies. But are these enough to make them exceptional leaders?  Exceptional leaders need to have the ability to motivate, influence, and incite emotions of people. A successful leader can thrive and survive in a world of change.

So, how can you successfully be a leader of change? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Be honest and real. People don't trust what they don't understand. Share your experiences with your team to strengthen your relationship with them and earn their trust.
  • Be an inspiring leader through your vision for the future. Great leaders paint a compelling picture of what the future will be, why it’s important, and how it will make a positive impact. People need to feel optimistic about where you're headed and the best way to do that is to lead by example.
  • Be inclusive. Involve yourself and ensure the participation of all team members. Create equal opportunities for everyone to participate, from the middle manager, to frontline leaders, and younger teams. People accept change when they feel they have contributed to it. It’s important to engage and empower those around you to take risks in a supportive environment.
  • Be transparent. Communicate challenges honestly and clarify expectations regarding new ways of working. Any change requires shifts in behaviors and people need to understand the differences between what they were doing before and what you require them to do moving forward. Access to information is crucial whether it’s online, in person, in written form, or even a video tutorial.
  • Be adaptable. It’s useful to always be learning to strategically adapt to changing circumstances. Let people know that you will continue to learn, improve, and develop. When people realize that change is not a final destination but an ongoing process, it will reduce their stress that comes from seeking perfection.

As a leader, managing change within a team is an important skill, especially during turbulent times that the world is going through. We have to be comfortable with rapid transformations, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, which led to a complete change in how we approach education, work, and even health systems in the world.

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