One thing that all great leaders have in common is that they are constantly seeking change. This can be challenging in the face of the status quo. In many businesses, people become comfortable and complacent with what they know. They’re happy to keep going along with the standard way of things, even if it means less success. They’re afraid that change may lead them out of their comfort zone, or even worse, it may lead them to failure. But change is absolutely essential for growth and success. So as a leader, how do you challenge the status quo?

Investigate – What Is The Status Quo?

The first thing you need to do is identify the current status quo and seek out opportunities for growth. Take an honest and objective look at the situation. What’s working and what isn’t? What’s holding your team back? Which methods and ideas are outdated? What changes can you make to promote growth and innovation? And most importantly, what can YOU change in your role as a leader?

Connect With Your Team

It’s important to communicate with your team and understand their thoughts. Ask them the same questions you’re asking yourself. Share your ideas and see how they react. The more you involve your people in these discussions, the easier it will be for them to get on board when the time comes to make changes. Your team needs to trust that you are leading them in the right direction, so it’s important to always share the WHY. People who are resistant to change may push back and have a hard time adapting. But if you’re transparent with them about WHY things are changing, and the benefits of new ideas, they’ll be more likely to go along with it.

Be Open-Minded

Speaking with your employees also allows you to experience different perspectives within your organization. A good leader can learn something new from everyone, and it’s crucial to be open-minded. There may be elements of the status quo that you weren’t even aware of. This will allow you to change perceptions. One example is Pam Watson, the director of a New Zealand towing business. Pam has challenged misconceptions by making women aware of opportunities within her industry. Research has shown that women who are exposed to powerful female role models are more likely to believe that they can succeed as leaders.

Prepare For Change

Before implementing changes, take all perspectives and possibilities into account. Check that you have the right processes in place. This is especially important when it comes to your company’s finances. You want to be sure that your business model can support the costs involved with growth. Before rolling out any changes, check that your tax obligations and bookkeeping are up to date. It’s essential to stay on top of your business’s accounting. Don’t be afraid to seek outside help if necessary. Getting advice from a qualified professional can save you valuable time and money. Thorough preparation can go a long way in helping changes go smoothly and successfully.

Lead The Way

The final step to sustainable growth is to empower your team to challenge the status quo themselves. A strong role model is someone who inspires others to step up and use their initiative. Get the ball rolling by being an example of innovation, show people that it’s possible to try something new and succeed. If you lead the way with courage and confidence, others will follow in your footsteps. Before you know it, the status quo will be a thing of the past.

Maia Fletcher is a freelance writer from sunny Gisborne, New Zealand. She has written articles on a diverse range of topics spanning from leadership and personal development to travel and lifestyle. Check out Maia’s Tumblr page to see more of her published works.