2020 has been a radical year. Due to forces beyond all of our control, more businesses have had to embrace remote work or flexible schedules. On top of the already life-altering pandemic, our society has also faced civil unrest, wildfires throughout half the country, and a hectic hurricane season. Through it all, employees still need a strong leader to look to for guidance. And right now, nothing is a more critical leadership skill than becoming an agent of change. What does it mean, and how can you exemplify this ideal?
What is an Agent of Change?
To be an agent of change, you must become involved. If you see something happening in your community or your company, it’s time to take action to create substantial change. In 2020, there are so many aspects of our overarching culture that can offer opportunities to become an agent of change, and your contribution could be big or small. But if you’re in a leadership position, you have the platform, and you should use it.
How to Focus on Positive Changes in the Workplace
Three big factors are coming into play in the workplace:
- An evolution based on demographics, including race, gender identification, or generations.
- A changing attitude toward the work itself, such as the expansion of remote working opportunities.
- There is a push toward greater cultural diversity in the workplace and leadership positions.
To be an agent of change is to prepare for and champion these changes.
Helping Your Employees Move Forward
Above all else, a leader is someone the team can look toward to be a positive example in these times of change. While your employees may have some trouble accepting new ideas, it’s your job to encourage them to move forward. Other employees happily embrace change, so you can facilitate that and provide them opportunities to enact change at every level. One example is the idea of a wisdom-based economy rather than a knowledge-based model. It doesn’t matter what someone knows but rather how they use that knowledge to do more.
Be at Peace with Uncertainty
Whether evolution or revolution, there is a lot of uncertainty when accepted models begin to change. And to be an agent of change, you need to embrace the potential chaos. Being nimble in your thinking and able to turn on a dime, accept new information and process it quickly, and lead your employees through difficult to navigate situations will all be hallmarks of good leadership moving forward.