Ed Brzychcy

By Ed Brzychcy

The True Test of Leadership Effectiveness: Dealing with Change

The True Test of Leadership Effectiveness: Dealing with Change 150 150 Edward Brzychcy

When things are running smoothly, all we need to do is have the proper management to keep the trains running on time. This statement, combined with the idea that 99.9% of the time things are going well, is what leads to businesses falling behind, losing market share, and ultimately facing failure in the great game of business.

Complacency kills. It was what lead us into an ambush during my tours overseas, and it is what leads to businesses missing out on crucial opportunities to grow and thrive in complex and dynamic marketplaces.

Because of this, complacent leadership should be one of the most significant weaknesses in any business’s strategy. The simple fact is that that world is ever-changing; our industries, markets, people, are all dynamic. Nothing is ever static.

Being an effective leader means that you cannot only deal with change–this implies that you are solely reactive–but to remain ahead of it.

Remaining ahead of change requires two things, knowledge and adaptability.

Today’s leaders must have a strong knowledge base around not only their sphere of influence –day-to-day activities, people, techniques–but also around the external factors of what affects each of these. They have to be able to spot trends, discover new opportunities, and learn about challenges before they become a substantial obstacle.

From this knowledge grows adaptability. We have to maintain the mindset that just because something works today, it will not necessarily be the best option tomorrow. Leaders must be able to adapt their teams to changing conditions, circumstances, and ideas. Almost all of these challenges will be because of external factors. These factors can come from anywhere, competitors, customers, suppliers, anyone that a team or business interacts with on a regular–and often indirect–basis.

A leader is never in direct control of all of the activities around them, but neither should they become purely reactionary. Great leadership resides in carefully walking the balance between the two; recognizing challenges and opportunities, adjusting where needed, and taking action when the time is right.


Ed Brzychcy is former U.S. Army Infantry Staff-Sergeant with service across three combat deployments to Iraq. After his time in the military, he received his MBA from Babson College and now coaches organizational leadership and growth through his consultancy, Blue Cord Management.

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