Leadership at the Speed of Change

We live in a rapid state of change. Everything is in constant flux. This is not something new, it is just that the speed in which is it occurring is increasing. Successful business people need to stay in front of change, and the most successful actually lead it. I have spent a lot of time with Business Leaders, and what I have found is that those best able to lead change, share three common traits. They embrace creative conflict, they are nimble and they are adept at building bridges of understanding. Let’s take a look at each of these traits.

Creative Conflict

Creative Conflict

Conflict is often viewed as a negative in the workplace. That is why I add the word creative as a qualifier. This form of conflict emanates from people with diverse thinking who are assembled together to find a solution or exploit an opportunity. This is about leveraging the collective intelligence of a group.

exploit an opportunity

A change leader should aim to hire people much smarter than they are! A leader trying to stay in front of change is not served well by a roomful of people who think the same and all agree. They are best served by those that disagree. They need the voice of the contrarian. They embrace friction. What is the output of friction? It is energy. That is where the spark of new thinking, or change occurs (Leadership Quotes). 



The friction of creative conflict sparked an idea. Now a change leader needs to have created an organization that is adaptable and flexible enough to react to the opportunity. A company mired in habit energy will find it nearly impossible to pivot. Yet an organization built on being nimble can take an “all hands on deck” approach to running with the concept. Action steps are developed and handed off to those whose strengths are best suited to deliver what is needed. A change leader (Leadership Quotes) is not worried about roles or hierarchy, rather she is worried only about speed and results!

Bridge Building

Bridge Building

When you move at the pace of change, feathers are ruffled, feelings hurt and egos bruised. A change leader does let those wounds to fester. There is no doubt that conflict leaves abrasions, but it is critical that a leader works to build a bridge of understanding. It is necessary to take the time to explain the chosen path and reason why.

a leader works to build

How to be a Leader

It could very well be that this person, currently bruised and battered, may bring forth the next “great” idea. A leader can’t afford to lose them in the process of creative conflict. They are not looking for consensus; they are wanting understanding. It is vitally important to make sure that everyone in the process of creative conflict feels heard, valued, cared for and respected. 

process of creative conflict

What Type of Leader Are You

Change happens and the speed in which it takes place is ever increasing. The most effective leaders make it happen, rather than react to its occurrence. Embracing creative conflict, being nimble and capable of building bridges of understanding are all keys to being a dynamic change leader (Change in Your Life). 

ByElliot Begoun

Elliot Begoun is a Business Therapist and the Principle of The Intertwine Group. His purpose is to help businesses and business leaders grow. He works to solve real issues, establish strategic guardrails, develop integrative leaders and foster employee enlightenment.

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