In times of change, “What’s in it for ME?” (WIIFM) is the “BIG” question everyone wants an answer to as soon as possible. Basically, we are all self-centered so this should be no surprise.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to see that the communications are clear, concise and authentic. Where possible, we need to understand another component in change and that is “What’s in it for “US” as a group?” The answers to question WIIFM can actually be included with a WIIFUS response.
In my experience, the biggest mistake most leaders make when trying to change something in the life or structure of the enterprise is to lead by announcement, by propaganda, or—worse yet—by executive dictate.
What may make perfect sense in your mind may not be understood so clearly by the rest of the organization. To you, the idea is completely logical. Trouble is, to win the support of others you must appeal to the intellectual and emotional bandwidth of people.
Could the solution to resistance to change be a simple act of unlearning? Let’s look into this and see just how complex this statement really is for humans.
Lao Tzu said, “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
Peter Drucker said it another way, “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.”
I have been a fan of the TV program NCIS since it was originally released. I have loved it for a number of reasons but most of all because of the focus on Gibb’s rules as a core of operations for the team. There are 50+ of these rules that have cropped up in many of the episodes over the 11 seasons.
One of the aspects of Gibb’s rules, that I like, is they are dynamic and change as attitudes and underlying values change which is important for growth. While you need to retain some rigidity, the flexibility allows you to balance responses and reactions
These rules have their foundation from Gibb’s values and time leading black ops missions while he was a Marine. They were adapted to his work with the NCIS investigative team so they have a tendency to be reactive or military based.
While I agree we can apply many of the characteristics of military engagement to business, I find they are limited because the motivations are different. In reality, nothing we do in business is truly life threatening or based on imminent physical danger. Yes, there are those who have this perception but it is rarely fatal to an individual.
So what can you do to develop your unique leadership style into one that will be highly trusted and respected? Today we continue last week’s post, here are the last three of the seven characteristics you can integrate when selecting the best leadership style, with tips for putting them into action.
The best leaders are human and socially conscious. Recognizing the contribution of others and giving the team room to innovate is the best way to lead into a more resilient future. In this 21st century we are facing radical changes in business structure, communication methods and high dependency on partners for growth.
If your leadership style is silo focused and inward driven, then it will not fit well in today’s environment. People are looking for leaders they can trust, believe and willing to commit to a common purpose of vision. If your focus in on short term financial goals with no room for employees, then I would say your focus is wrong.
Consider “Why should my team be led by me?” Notice what you already bring them, and what they need more of from you to bring out their best.
Has this ever happened to you? After you walk through the doors of a business or you call them and you are immediately surrounded or talking to a – perfectly groomed person with a smile planted across his face in greeting. Within two minutes they have talked non-stop and promised you everything, including the moon, if you purchase their product or service. You lift an eyebrow, and think to yourself… “Yeah, right!” If you are in sales, this is how you are viewed by your customer at times, your buyer is thinking “Yeah, right!” also.
There is no Trust Circle for them. The distrust between customer and salesman is a longstanding mixed emotion for most people on both sides. After all, they know you are wanting to make a buck off their purchase. Sure, they don’t mind you making a few dollars… everybody has to make a living… but heck, it would be nice if you were at least a little concerned about what their needs are too!
In reality… customers aren’t likely to buy from you unless they “Know” you, “Like” you, “Trust” you and “Believe” you will deliver on your commitments. There are a few easy steps that you can take to give them the confidence they need to take the plunge.