According to Harvard University expert Ronald Feiftez, “the role of a leader is to help people face reality and to mobilize them to make a change.”
Many business leaders fail at this because they speak of a change without an accurate description of reality.
Let’s say your organization has faced several cases of harassment. The leader stands up and says “We have seen poor behavior recently and we need to change. We need people to respect each other and communicate better. A respectful workplace is conducive to better performance, which is good for everyone.”
That’s not facing reality. Yes, there has been poor behavior. But why? That’s what needs to be discussed. The people listening to the leader know that it’s partly because of the emotional and financial pressures put on employees. New hires are not qualified, compensation is not adequate and incentivizes shortcuts, jerks are promoted, etc. So when the leader paints a beautiful picture of a harmonious workplace but doesn’t acknowledge the root cause of today’s daub, no one is inspired.
Leaders must face reality first if they want to help others do the same. That’s how change is made possible.