LEADERSHIP TRANSITIONING INTO NEW SEASONS
Adaptability is an inevitable concept that we cannot ignore as human beings. Whether or not you decide to amend your values, adjust your routine or adapt to change it will happen. It is better then, to decide to properly plan for it. Daily, we make decisions that evolve the state of one situation into another. What we fail to acknowledge most of the time is the fact that our new state is only a progression from our old one. It is never a case of old versus new; it is a TRANSITION! When we leave one job and settle for another, we do not abandon all the skills and lessons from our old job. We however utilize the experience to upgrade our roles to be more successful.
Transitioning is a powerful and conscious tool that we have to employ as leaders, entrepreneurs and potential leaders. Life in itself is constantly transitioning. All of us as leaders have assumed new leadership roles, either our first or one of many new challenges. We have to be intentional about our development from one place to another, one job to another, one year to another. A transition does not disregard the past in attempt to make the present better. Instead, what an intentional transition does is to forget the past, be deliberate about the present and plan for the future. On the matter of intentional transitioning, there is the dire need to be pliable under every circumstance. Your ability to be flexible, receptive and responsive to any alteration in your life, love and labour is what will make the difference.
McKinsey reports that nearly half of leadership transitions fail. A 2018 publication by Keller and Meaney highlights studies that show that two years after executive transitions, anywhere between 27 and 46 percent of them are regarded as failures or disappointments. 5 Leaders rank organizational politics as the main challenge: 68 percent of transitions founder on issues related to politics, culture, and people, and 67 percent of leaders wish they had moved faster to change the culture. These matters are not problems only for leaders who come in from the outside: 79 percent of external and 69 percent of internal hires report that implementing culture change is difficult. Bear in mind that these are senior leaders who demonstrated success and showed intelligence, initiative, and results in their previous roles. It would seem that Marshall Goldsmith’s advice— “What got you here won’t get you there”—is fully applicable to executive transitions.
As we advance into a new season, 2021, I believe a good number of us are making plans on how to make the coming year a better one. Have you taken a minute to catch your breath since the year began? If not, STOP! You need to take a deep breath and pause for a second in preparation for a time of reflection. There are a number of things you probably planned to do which you may or may not have been successful in attaining. Do you know the reasons for these successes or failures? Whatever your initial answer is, your final answer should be yes. It is important that you do not transition not having known your mistakes. The past is a school of lessons we have to repeatedly attend. Whilst we are there, we have to reflect deeply about the life we lived, the decisions we made and the reasons for making those choices. Only then can we move forward in transition.
One of the important spaces in which we make transitions is the world of work. The work climate is changing rapidly, and leaders need to adapt their own skills and mindsets to address future trends and challenges. It is common to find that while leaders may feel they are prepared, their employees are not so sure, and often feel more confident in their own adaptability.
LinkedIn features a survey which was conducted in March 2019 on a survey sample of 14,000 global LinkedIn members and presented in aggregate. The research cited that Technology and rapid pace of change will require both leaders and employees to learn new skills. When it comes to the leading trends leaders need to keep in mind, respondents viewed artificial intelligence (59%), pace of change (36%), and customer demands and expectations (32%) as most important things to address.
Ethics and transparency also ranked highly as a trend impacting leaders, with nearly a third citing this (30%), underscoring the importance of trust and transparency in the era of digital disruption.
Employees feel they are taking more definitive action to prepare for these trends. More than 50% of respondents stated they are “definitely” taking steps to prepare, while 56% noted their leadership is only “somewhat” prepared.
In the coming year, my desire for everyone is that we live with intention not start a life with intention. Life has already started. We are not living new lives in 2021. We are waking up as the same people but with new intentions. Your life is a story of Transitions. You are always one chapter behind while moving on to the next. So, before we make New Year resolutions, swap jobs, transform our status from single to married or simply write a new page in our story lives, what are the vital things we should consider?
Pause: Before taking a step in any direction, take a time out. Breathe in, breathe out. Accept your losses and embrace the wins in your last chapter. Not everything went as planned and that is okay. The next step we are taking is to make the next chapter more interesting and fulfilling. Inculcate the habit of accepting the things you cannot refine and forge on to make an impact wherever possible.
Ponder: Ponder over the things that made you excited and note those not so great moments. Did you broker a good deal? What were the steps you took that led to the success of this event? Did you lose out on a few? What can you do better in transition? Your time of reflection needs to be as objective as possible. Accept the disappointing revelations as opportunities to do better. “The more reflective you are, the more effective you are” – Hall and Simeral
Position: In transitioning, we move from one state to another or one place to another. It is important that you strategically position yourself for the unforeseen opportunities that are headed your way. Have you asked yourself if you fit in this new position? The only way to fit in is to plan. This is where your past comes in to serve as a tool. One would have to make fresh decisions with pointers from your reflection point in mind. Note down these new goals and paths you will want to tread in transitioning.
Preparation: You have to understand what you are planning or preparing for. This will help you appreciate what the transition is like, what it is for, how you feel about it, what it will do to you or for you. Aside from planning, you will need to be prepared for a difference. Although transitioning is not old versus new, you are making a change. Change is meant to feel different. If you are moving from an old job to a new one, you will settle in a new environment. If you are altering your position as a corporate worker to an entrepreneur, the feel would be different. You will need to be mentally prepared and emotionally stable for the fresh battle ahead. The transformation journey will help you in feeling more aligned and sensitive to your needs and dreams. In the uncertainty and chaos that can accompany transitioning, the preeminence of our strengths can get lost in the shuffle. Know your strengths and have a good command over them. They will come in as handy tools when the center cannot hold.
Perform: Get out there! Keep in mind that transitioning is an intentional act. You need to be conscious and deliberate about your thoughts, utterances and actions. Be responsive to your needs throughout your journey by leveling up your mindset to be more attentive. Keep the plan in sight by continually revisiting your map to make readjustments. The journey will not be an easy one and that is why you have to be patient, focused and proactive on this fresh path. As Socrates rightly said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” In your transition, intentionally include a friend or colleague or family member with complementary strengths.
The concept of intentional transition in itself is challenging. Be however encouraged to initiate an intended focus as you make your transition into the coming year. This mindset will be invaluable as you see one chapter of your life come to an end and turn to navigate into new, unchartered waters. Transitioning is a continuous cycle, hence there is the need to Pause, Ponder, Position, Prepare and Perform every now and then when you have achieved a milestone or hit roadblock.
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.
She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and @dzigbordi across all social media platforms.