#47: Change Leadership with Keisha A. Rivers
Keisha A Rivers harnessed the lessons learned while leading during a harrowing Hurricane Katrina experience to become an award-winning international speaker, change agent and learning leader. As Chief Change Officer and President of The KARS Group LTD, she focuses on equipping organizations and leaders to navigate The People Side of Change. She is a TEDx speaker, host of the Equipped for Change podcast and author who has been recognized for her leadership and influence through such designations as "2022 Enterprising Women of The Year" by Enterprising Women Magazine; "50 Most Influential Women of 2021" by the Mecklenburg Times for her leadership in the Charlotte area; and "10 Most Influential Black Women in Business to Follow in 2021".
Keisha holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.Ed. from University of New Orleans, and a Certificate in Women's Entrepreneurship from Cornell University. She is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP), Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), Certified Talent Optimization Consultant, HRCI and SHRM Recertification Provider.
Top 3 Takeaways
- Change is personal. When things shift on us, we’re the ones who experience the consequences. When we initiate change that impacts others, we need to heighten our awareness of how they’re likely feeling.
- Next not new. There is no so-called new normal. Change has always been constant, and now it’s happening faster than ever. As leaders, we need to get good at absorbing and leading change.
- Bring them along. To smooth out the change process, engage those impacted each step of the way. Give them time to absorb change and a means of retaining their agency during and after the shift.
From the Source
“Anytime you have to build, anytime you are adjusting, adapting, creating something new, you have to build in time for the learning.”
“Change management is managing the process. It is looking at the steps we need to take, the plans we need to make, the resources we need to allocate, how much is this going to cost. These are the things that you feel you can control. Change leadership is all about the people side. It's how do we get people to shift the way they are thinking in order to do something differently?”
“That's the one thing when you are leading people through change. You have to include them in the conversation around the change. You have to help them see themselves in what this looks like for them, not just for the organization.”
“You have to sit in the discomfort, and you have to take the time to recalibrate your thinking. You have to shift your own thinking about what's going on. So stillness breeds strength, and it cultivates strength because you don't have the distraction of trying to move away from what is disconcerting to you, from what is causing fear.”
“When you're sitting in stillness, you get a chance to stop the spiral. You get a chance to really evaluate what needs to be done and you get a chance to envision yourself in a position of success, where you can see the pathway. You talk about creating your story, you can see yourself in that new story.”
“Leadership is more around influence. It's around how do you influence people? How do you position people? How do you encourage people and have people shift their thinking about whatever it is that's going to happen so that they will do things that are going to be mutually beneficial?”
“There is always some way that you grow, learn, develop. What people tend to do in the midst of change, in the midst of a change process, Is that instead of them figuring out ways to support themselves to love themselves to, to, um, to be able to, to understand themselves, they tend to beat themselves up.”
“Here's the thing I always tell people: you want to create an environment where your people feel seen, they feel heard, they feel valued, and they feel safe. And it's not just physical safety, it's really psychological safety.”
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