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How Effective is Your Leadership as a Change Agent?

What happens when leaders are challenged with having to implement changes within their organization? Given the state of the economy, effective leaders must learn how to successfully implement changes that will produce positive, long-term, strategic results.

Although there are many ways to measure the effectiveness of an organization, leadership is critical to the overall process. Effective leaders are worth their wealth in gold. They are the face of the organization-master of the “brand.” Unfortunately, some people are thrust into leadership roles and are ill-prepared for the challenges associated with sound, effective leadership. Organizations destined for greatness must have leaders who understand the essence of leadership.

Many of our former presidents have written extensively on the topic of leadership. For example, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States once said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Effective leaders are motivators, good communicators, and have mastered the art of listening. They are also visionaries, and change agents. Effective leaders adhere to the core values of integrity, honesty, and service-before self. They are confident, creditable, and knowledgeable decision-makers who play different roles and possess a myriad of talents. They believe in the overall health and well-being of their personnel and the organization.

Effective leaders advocate for change that yields positive outcomes. As the visionary for the organization, effective leaders have the ultimate responsibility to position the organization on the path for continuous economic growth and sustainability. Not only is their reputation on the line, but the integrity and life-blood of the entire organization is at stake.

Given the myriad of responsibilities and expectations levied on the leader, sometimes changing the dynamics of the organization may become essential in order to accomplish the desired outcomes and achieve the bottom-line. Change can be arduous and present many challenges in organizations. For example, changes within the environment (e.g. economic, global, and technological) have impacted many organizations both internally and externally. In many instances, the rigid organizational structure of the past has been superseded by flexible organizational design constructs. As one writer wrote, “Change is inevitable.”

Unfortunately, sometimes change can be extremely complex. Despite the fact that people are characterized as an organization’s greatest asset, what happens when a leader has to “change players on the team” due to economic down-sizing, outsourcing, or strategic differences of opinions? This is probably one of the most difficult change dynamics that leaders have to endure in an organization. Yet, at times, it is the path forward. Effective leaders have to sometimes make difficult choices-which may involve building a whole new team.

About the author

Dr. Mary M. Gillam is the owner of Executive Leadership Enterprise & Management Services located in the Washington DC metropolitan area. She is a retired Air Force Colonel and former member of the Senior Executive Service Corps with the Department of Defense at the Pentagon. She is the host of a local television show, Leadership Table Talk, and the inventor of the board game, The Leadership Build Zone. An Amazon #1 best-selling author, she is also the creator of the C.O.R.E Leadership Development Model. Her website is

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