In order to maintain a competitive advantage as an individual, organization and/or company change must occur. This change is needed in order to offset the uncontrollable external factors that lie on the road to exponential growth and success. Though the task may seem simple it is actually a difficult process that must be pioneered by a leader. This laborious phenomenon is described by Bill George’s Discovering Your Authentic Leadership and John Kotter’s Leading Change. These readings convey two different things but there is an inextricable connection between them.
Together these readings explain how a leader affects meaningful change. The question can be broken down into multiple parts. First, what is leader? We are molded by the things that we are exposed to. As a result there is not a uniform definition on how a person should lead, or constraints on who could lead. In order to be an effective leader “you need to be who you are, not try to emulate somebody else” as stated by Amgen’s CEO. (George, 1) This begins at the core one has to be self-aware. Self-awareness includes one’s values, motivators, support structures, integration, and empowerment.
Values are the things central to a person’s character that remain unchanged after being tried. “Leadership principles are values translated into action.”(George, 4) These values become a person’s mantra. A leader must also be aware of their motivators and maintain a good balance between them. External validation such as promotions and financial compensation should not be one’s sole driver. Eventually leaders understand that intrinsic motivators give them a deeper satisfaction with more longevity. Also these individuals realize that they cannot do it on their own and create support teams that share some of the same values and motivators. This is done successfully by integrating the many facets of a person’s life. Finally, a leader begins to become great when he/she can recognize the vitals pieces around them and empower them to do better and become great leaders themselves. Together these key pieces form a leader who is authentic. Authenticity as described by
George creates a sublime leader.
It takes a sublime leader to enact change. A fault that Kotter notes is that most organizations view change as a single event versus a process that happens over time. He outlines eight steps that must be followed in order that are vital for change to occur...