Leadership in Action – 4 Ways to Help Your Team Pivot

Leadership in Action – 4 Ways to Help Your Team Pivot


Pivot! is the buzz word of the moment. The reality is that it is just good change management. To pivot is when leaders Energize Action in their teams so that they let go of the past and move towards a viable future. Here are four action items you can take today:

Label the behavior you want, not the behavior you do not want.
As leaders, as we begin to see where we need to be, we get frustrated with the current situation. The natural reaction is to ask our team to “Stop!” We no longer want to see that behavior. We then become completely frustrated when they do it one more time. This is a common mistake, because as soon as we ask someone not to do something, we program our mind to be sure to notice if they do it again. We set ourselves and our team up for failure. Alternatively, when we provide the replacement picture, what we do want our team to do, we not only give them something to move towards, but we program ourselves to see the new behavior. Praise and reinforcement are natural outcomes. The replacement picture is key, which brings us to the second way to help your team pivot.

Move from Vision to Visualization
Effective leaders recognize a subtle and very important difference between Vision and Visualization. Vision is a picture of the desired future. Visualization is imagining that future state in the present tense. It combines WORDS + PICTURES + EMOTIONS to make the “vision” so real it becomes the dominant reality. Cognitive psychology confirms that the stronger the mental picture, the more people “own” the vision, want to believe in it, and release the energy to achieve it. Engaging in visualization with your team creates a strong replacement picture for them to move towards with a “want-to” energy.

“Want-To” Leads to Accountability
Inspiring people to follow our vision does not come from simply telling people our vision. It comes from holding the conversations that allow people to see exactly how the vision fits their jobs, their goals and their values, and how they contribute. As leaders, we may be clear in communicating vision, strategy, and goals. However, we depend on our people to develop the tactics. They must be the ones to see how it will be accomplished. When they develop the tactics, it increases their discretionary energy and their self-imposed accountability which results in resilience to setbacks or what is known as “grit.”

Watch for Frequency and Intensity
Many of us are looking at change as a binary switch, on or off. In reality, it is a transition from the old to the new. Growth is a better descriptor than change. Growth is the process of letting go of old habits and establishing new habits. As we lead our team, we need to recognize this process and set realistic expectations for demonstrated change. As long as the frequency and intensity of the old behaviors are reducing, while the frequency and intensity of the new habit is increasing, we then reward and reinforce the growth.

When you utilize these 4 ways to get your team to Pivot! you Energize Action in your team and create a new, viable future.