How leaders drive change? Why Henry Ford, Steve Jobs or Walt Disney are top leaders? What skills does a leader must have that people feel motivated to follow them? How companies like BMW Group manage leadership development?
Through decades, different leaders like Henry Ford, Walt Disney, or Steve Jobs have made the difference to drive change. Do you know how they made these changes? How leaders inspire and motivate team spirit?
In this blog, you will learn what top leaders did to reinvent more efficient ways of work to lead change. Which skills leaders apply and how companies like BMW Group provided leadership development to its MINI Plant Oxford, in all levels and the results they had.
Why Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney are top leaders?
Simple to answer! All these leaders generated a big change in the way of work. They were convinced and confident in their ability to turn their vision into reality. They spread their passion and guided their employees to make changes happened. Without their direction and guidance, their employees would never follow them to drive change in the workplace or with the world.
He is the inventor of the Model T assembly line. He created a more efficient way of work, which lowered the cost of materials and the final product. Thanks to this, Henry Ford gave the world the possibility of having access to an owned American vehicle.
Everybody knows Walt Disney! I think he will always be one of the top leaders of all time. He was not only an animator but an entrepreneur who still makes us enjoy “magic” through his internationally-beloved brand. His work has shown the value of heart. He not only created a business but inspire and influence his people to make it happened and still a lot of people want and desire to work for the brand. What do you think about this?
Steve Jobs is the perfect example of a leader who reinvented the way of work. He reinvented computers to create and establish a whole new experience. Because of him, computers and more devices became more accessible and easy to work with. But, Jobs went through many mistakes and challenges, he was well known for his erratic and temperamental behavior. He needed to fell and get up many times to become the great leader he was. If you want to read more about his life and all the challenges he faced, you can read the article Steve Jobs: An Extraordinary Career.
To mention some, we focused on these three business leaders but there are also great leaders like Bill Gates, JP Morgan, or Andrew Carnegie, who have made tremendous changes to improve the way of work. There are also politicians, religious, and even sports leaders, who created a change in terms and conditions, for example, Winston Churchill, the Dalai Lama, or Airton Senna. Great leaders who created huge impacts! We recommend you to read more about them and how they contributed to history.
How leaders drive change in the workplace?
Leaders are well known for taking actions to improve the terms and conditions of a company and to guide employees through changes. Changes are difficult to process, not all people are always open to change. There is always an employee who resists change, but to make this happen, leaders are constantly in contact with their employees or people. Here are 5 skills that leaders practice to drive change in the workplace:
Care about the team
To generate motivation and success, leaders should always be worried about their teams and employees. Understanding their needs and emotions will lead to creating a loyalty bound where the members will follow their guidance and all the changes that the company requires to evolve.
Showcase the positive side of change
As mentioned before, good leaders are confident about the change and influence their employees to follow them and generate it. The big challenge is how to make everybody embrace it as there is always an employee who resists change.
Problems to face
There are always challenges in the way! A leader should be clear to express the real problems they will face as a company and within the teams. The leader should keep more in communication with all the employees. Communicating what is happening, which are the problems to face, and how they all are going to challenge them, will make employees figure out the problems to solve them. This will help to guide the successful implementation of the change.
Set goals and focus on achievements
Great leaders believe in the change and keep a positive vision for the employees. Setting goals will keep employees motivated and knowing what they need to improve each week or month. Accomplished goals will provide results and will make the team feel proud of their work and achievements.
Once the goals and changes are accomplished, the reward will be enormous for the company, the leader, and the employees. As a result of their great work, a good leader will continuously improve the condition of their team and organization. Employees will generate a better performance of their work, therefore, their morale will automatically improve. The BMW Group: MINI Plant Oxford case study is a good example of how leadership solutions generate big changes.
BMW Group: MINI Plant Oxford case study
Since its acquisition by BMW Group, MINI has retained a strong independent sense of brand identity. The MINI Plant in Oxford faced several changes like a significant increase in production volumes, quality standards had to meet BMW’s premium standards, a new consistent approach to and understanding of leadership was required by everyone with line management responsibility, across all UK sites, and new KPIs.
The Problem and program
All management levels felt that there was too much management interference and that the managers above them did not trust them to do their job, a lack of cooperation and time, short term focus, and management levels agreed that leadership development was needed at all levels.
The program was comprised of 3 modules, delivered over 8 days, spread out over 5-6 months. This time spaced approach was to maximize future learning retention and allow participants time to work on their personal course projects.
After three years, the MINI Plant Oxford went from being in the lower 50% of all BMW Group manufacturing sites worldwide to be in the top quarter across an average of all measures. In fact, in some criteria, Plant Oxford is now ranked the best in the world.
Leadership development was only one strand of their combined strategy. However, senior leaders have said that the leadership development program was a key contributor to the results now being seen.
Leaders drive change in the workplace or with the world. Their vision and new ideas turn into success stories, experiences, and new ways of work. A good leader is confident, influence, and inspire others.
They are good communicators, share their passion and commitment with their employees and within the company. They face challenges, keep a positive mindset, and set a good example for others to follow. Good communication skills and decision-making capabilities also play an important role in the success and failure of a leader.
If you want to start becoming a leader, you can try to solve any of the challenges that we have for you. Make your strategies, plans, decisions and face the challenge of real companies. This is your opportunity to give solutions and inspire others to change.
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