Seven Disciplines to Achieve the Changes Geat Leaders Know They Must Make

Whatever their size and nature may be, all organizations need effective leadership at all lkevels and in all areas of the given enterprise.

In Leadership Sustainability, Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood suggest that,”Leaders do not always accomplish or finish what they start. At the end of every leadership improvement effort, participants need the discipline to do what they desire and to turn their aspirations into actions. This book has a very simple purpose: to help leaders sustain the changes they know they should make — that is, to support leadership sustainability.”

Here is a summary of the seven factors of Leadership Sustainability:

l. Simplicity: “Focus on a few key behaviors that have high impact.”
Know when, where, and how what you say or do can make a positive difference.

2. Time: “Put desired behaviors into calendar and monitor how much these behaviors accomplish in their time allocations.”
Anticipate situations in which you should do much more listening than talking.

3. Accountability: “Be personally and publicaly accountable for making change happen.”
If you aren’t totally committed to positive change, why should anyone else be?

4. Resources: “Support people’s desired changes with coaching and infrastructure.”
“How can I help?” is a question almost always welcomed with gratitude.

5. Tracking: “Measure people’s efforts and the results in specific ways.”
People need — and deserve — to know what specifically is expected from them.

6. Melioration: “Constantly learn from mistakes and failures and demonstrate resilience.”
Initiatives are “mistakes” and “failures” only if you learn nothing of value from them.

7. Emotion: “Have a personal passion and emotions for the changes that need to be made.”
Enthusiasm and negativism are contagious, often toxic, and self-defeating.

These brief comments offer no head snapping revelations. There are other factors worthy of consideration (e.g. collaboration, empathy, humility, resilience). Ulrich and Smallwood use the seven they selected to serve as a framework within which to introduce valuable insights that may seem separate but are in fact interdependent.

Leadership Sustainability was published by McGraw-Hill Education (2013).

To learn more about Dave Ulrich and his work please click here.

To learn more about Norm Smallwood and his work, please click here.


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