320 - Another Key To Leading Change - John Laurito
Episode 320 Another Key To Leading Change Tomorrows Leader Podcast with John Laurito

320 – Another Key To Leading Change

In this episode, host John Laurito talks about another essential key that could make or break your leadership in a time of change in your organization: the influencers. Influencers are key people in your company that doesn’t necessarily have the authority, but they can influence how your people react to change within the organization.

[0:00] Intro

[2:31] What is an influencer?

[5:06] Three ways to look at going through change as a leader

[8:38] Consider this…

[10:08] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader. All right, tomorrow’s leaders. How are you? How y’all doing, Collin? Doing my podcast down here in North Carolina here, learning my North Carolina accent. I’m saying y’all a lot more, y’all. I actually think that’s should be a proper word, I think. I don’t know if it is actually in the dictionary or not, but it should be because y’all is better than guys. Hey, guys. That’s what I used to say. So I like y’all better. We’ll start using it and maybe even do my due full episode here in North Carolinian accent down here, down south. So welcome to tomorrow’s leader, where we make dreams come true. We help people lead better, lead themselves better and lead others better become more influential. That’s the tomorrow’s leader way. So, all right, enough of that. Today’s topic is a topic that I’ve been talking to many, many leaders about recently, and it’s a really great concept and a game changer when it comes to leading people in leading large organizations through change. And I want to talk about the concept of your influencers or your advocates from the inside. These are people that, as you are looking at, leading a large group of people through change and especially massive change, these are people that are actually they’re critical to your success as a leader in doing that. 

John So what I want to talk about this and I want to give you some examples of what not to do and what to do, because I’ve learned from doing the right thing and the wrong thing and how much impact getting the right people on your side, so to speak, or embracing this change early and helping them become early adopters. How much significantly that that can help your leadership in your organization? So a leading through change in particular. So let’s talk about what an influencer is. Well, that that influencer is somebody that is not in a not necessarily in any kind of formal leadership position. They are just simply the people that others look to. And they have natural leadership and influence among the group. So the way I’ve talked about it before, you may have heard me say this is I if there’s a room of 50 people and something is said or a decision is announced, it’s where all the eyes go to look at how this person is reacting. And it’s when this person speaks, people really listen. And it’s when this person speaks or what they say people do, they follow, right? That that’s the natural influence. And every organization has these people in the organization. And more times than not, they are not they don’t have any kind of positional power. That’s what natural leadership is. Leadership is that natural ability to influence others, influence their thoughts, their feelings, their decisions, their actions, everything, their behaviors. That’s a leader. And and you have to be really tuned in to who these people are in your organization. And then the question is, as a leader, well, what do you do? How do you tap into this potential to get these people to help you lead through major change? If you don’t let me talk about if you don’t if you don’t, what will happen is these people may or may not go along with you on the ride. 

John They certainly will not help you really lead others through it because they haven’t been included in all. They haven’t been really tapped on the shoulder. They haven’t been brought into the tent at all. They’ve really been an outsider, even though they’re very influential. These people want to be brought into this. They want to be feeling like most of them for my experience. They want to feel like they are influencing and making a difference and an impact in a positive way. And that’s the great thing about them. They are these leaders with authority and power. Even though you haven’t they’ve not been granted any. They have this natural level of authority and power in the organization. And most of the times, the vast majority of the times they want to help the organization move in a great direction. They want to help other people move in a positive direction. They have really great, positive contributions to give to the organization. But as a leader, you need to put them in a position where they can do that, right. You need to empower them to become a leader with you on this journey. So here’s a couple of things. You’re just three different ways I would look at it. One is if I am making a decision and now going to be moving this organization through change, one is I don’t I don’t do anything. I don’t tap into these influences. I don’t ask anything of them. And I just go about it with myself and my leadership team, in which case I’ve really got an uphill battle to fight. And you’ve seen and heard, I think, through my podcast, I know we talked about this on a keynote recently about. The whole phases of change. You’ve got the early adopters, the people that will just jump in naturally. 

John Then you’ve got the people that are watching those early adopters and you’ve got the laggards that are watching that group. They’re the last ones. You’ve got these naught natural bell curve of participants and change some people that want to get into it fast and others that’ll sit on the sidelines and wait till everybody has gone through this new change to see how everybody’s reacted and what’s happened before. They’re going to jump in. These influencers again can help move that faster. They can help move more people to that earlier part of the bell curve in terms of jumping in on that change. So the first thing is my option as a leader, I can do nothing. I cannot tap these influencers into and pull them into the action in any way. The second thing I can do is I can do that. I can go to them after I have made a decision and tell them all the reasons and the rationale to my prior podcast that just came out the other day that I can tell them the reasons for the decision, what the factors were, what we looked at, why this is important. You heard me talk also on a prior episode about how to lead through change. You’ve got to sell on the vision. What’s the outcome? What’s the desired outcome, and how does this make everybody’s world better? Why are we doing this when we succeed at this change? What does it really, really mean and look like? I can I can have that conversation with the influencers and basically get them on board. And before I even announce the change to everybody else and get their agreement or their buy in to help make that change and naturally influence the change. 

John But here’s the best way to do it. Why not? You know who these people are. Why not bring them into the decision making process? Why not invite them to be part of it? And before the decision is made, say, hey, you know what, we’re looking at this these options. Here’s the problem we’re trying to solve. Here’s the opportunity we’re trying to take advantage of. And here’s what we’re looking at. Here’s what we’ve kind of narrowed down to the decisions to be either this or this or this. What do you think? What are your thoughts? You’re a valuable part, part of this organization. What do you think? What decision would you make? It doesn’t mean you have to go with their decision, but to get them involved in the decision making process is so critical. You will get so much leadership from them because now they are actually part of the decision. They’re part of the strategy of the organization. They’re part of the senior leadership team. That’s really how they feel now. And you’ve empowered them not only to go help make a change that’s important in the organization, but one that they were part of making that decision. How much more effective are they going to be at leading this? If they can say and feel truly like it was partly their decision, they own it, right? If they own it, they’re going to be able to lead a lot better. Right. So that’s my lesson for you today. Consider this the next time you’re struggling or you’re thinking about, okay, we’ve got a major change coming or we’ve got a big decision coming up. Bring some of these influencers in on the decision process. I know some of you are really good about understanding this concept, but sometimes you go into them. 

John After the decision is made, you’ll get much more traction and lift with them if you involve them in the decision making process. Okay. If you want to talk more about this, reach out to me directly. I’ll go through different scenarios with you. I’ve got tons of examples and stories of when I’ve done that well or when I’ve not, honestly, and when I’ve not and when I have not. I’ve always looked back and said, You know what? I should have gotten this person, that person, that person, this person in earlier, and that would have helped make this happen a lot better. Okay, so get them in early in the process involved in the decision making process and you will see great, great results from that. So let me know. Talk to me, reach out to me, let me know what’s on your mind. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this concept. I’d love to hear if you tried it and you implemented it. How work for you. Communicate with me. I love to communicate with you with with all of my audience. Wherever you are, wherever you are, whatever role you’re in, whatever. Reach out to me, text, email, all that info is in the show notes and I will look forward to seeing you and talking to you very soon. In the meantime, like share, subscribe, all that kind of good stuff. Go down below, give a five star review and I will see you next time. Take care. 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!

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