“Success, in general, is a well-balanced blend of luck, DNA, confidence, and hustle.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk
This series is dedicated to our friends (known or unknown) that have recently lost their jobs in tech.
When leading a digital transformation effort, there are four essential characteristics that I’ve found separate the elite change agents from the pack. And though I do agree with GaryV, you have far greater control of these four characteristics. They are Hunger for Skills, (Focused) Hustle, Character (Conscientious Leadership), and (Strong) Relationships.
And yes, this is a bit reductive, but I figured it’s an excellent start to the conversation.
- First, you need, at your core, to be a conscientious leader. A change leader, regardless of where they sit in the Organization, with solid character will dictate the depth of the implementation and influence its lasting (and positive) impact.
- Then, you will need a leader who strongly emphasizes relationships. Relationships are everything in change efforts (and many other aspects of leadership). How you perceive others and how others perceive you can make or break any change effort.
- Third, you will need to have a hunger to learn new skills during the transformation project and after. Great change agents make a daily habit of acquiring new skills – as “transformation” is not a rinse-and-repeat exercise but more of an exercise in agility with a willingness to introduce new solutions.
- Last, you will want to have focused hustle. No one wants to work with a leader that they have to drag to the finish line. And no one truly appreciates a leader who runs into cul-de-sacs with as much passion and direction as the main initiatives – that’s the focused part.
As I said earlier, this is a bit reductive. Change efforts can sometimes survive poor change leadership. However, the best Change Managers are always hungry to learn (who don’t rely on luck). Hungry to grow and get better. The above diagram represents a perspective Jon Acuff introduced to me in his book “Do Over.” A version of these characteristics is what he considers core to a Career Savings Account – a way of building and protecting your career against job losses. Going further, these characteristics are what you will rely upon to find the next opportunity.
References and Resources
If you recently were part of a “Reduction in Force,” – we HIGHLY recommend Jon Acuff’s Book, Do Over.
- Success, according to Gary Vaynerchuk, is a combination of luck, DNA, confidence, and hustle.
- Similarly, there are four essential characteristics of elite change agents in digital transformation efforts.
- The first characteristic is being a conscientious leader with solid character, which impacts the depth and lasting impact of the implementation.
- The second is emphasizing strong relationships, as they are crucial in change efforts.
- The third characteristic is having a hunger to learn new skills during and after the transformation project.
- Lastly, focused hustle is essential, as leaders should be proactive and driven.
Originally Posted April 3, 2018