If you want transformational change, you have to start by making transformation your goal. It has to be the single most important thing on which you focus. Even when transforming requires that you build new skills, training isn’t transformation. Consulting isn’t transformation either, even though it may be required to move forward.
- If you want to lead change, you have to answer the question, “Why must we change now?” Without a reason and consequences for not changing now, you will not compel your sales force to take the actions that lead to transformational change. We ask our salespeople to help our clients understand the reasons they need to change now. Your transformation starts in the same place.
- You have to be willing to go to the mat for your transformation. You have to be willing to fight for it. You will have to work with members of your leadership team. You will have to force some people to come along. Unless you insist that the change occurs, it won’t. People will try to wait you out, passively resisting the transformation. Others will actively and vocally work against you. You will have to deal with both.
- One of the primary obstacles to change is believing that you can’t change because your people aren’t going to be happy. Many of them won’t be thrilled with change, no matter what it is. You cannot accept a lack of effort on the change that you need, and you must remedy a lack of activity immediately. Some people, the ones who are comfortable with the way things are, may leave for what they believe to be greener pastures. But that is the part of the price that change requires of you.
- Until you achieve your goal, you are going to have to begin and end every conversation with the change initiative. You are going to have to remind people why you are changing. You’ll also have to insist that new beliefs are adopted and new actions taken. It has to be all-consuming. It has to underly every conversation.
- The front line managers are the most valuable resources you have when it comes to change. They have to ensure that everyone is doing what is necessary, especially holding their people accountable. Without the front line managers, and without real accountability for change, it won’t happen. Change isn’t easy.
These things are necessary if you are going to become something newer, better, and bigger than you are now.