9 Super-Powers that Leaders must have in 2022 to Drive Change in their Organizations

Many organizations are today onboarded on transformation programs: changing their business model, digitalizing processes, or simply building a new corporate culture.

The challenge for many leaders is that change doesn’t come easily – the biology of our brain makes it difficult to react positively to change and often we start procrastinating, having lower mental capacity to sustain the change as a daily routine and losing motivation to act as a role model for our teams. It is not easy, because our brain produces the same chemicals that are meant to signal a threatening situation or when there is a drastic change in our daily life.

Looking back to how leadership has evolved in history: we have moved from an autocratic type of leadership to more empathetic styles based on the sole task of motivating & engaging teams – one of the most popular approaches is the ‘carrot and stick’, where it is all about rewarding good behaviors with monetary rewards and punishing bad behaviors (also with financials). Research in the field of human motivation shows that the reward and punishment approach is not sustainable for long term impact on team’s motivation and in fact it deteriorates the overall team contribution – due to the decrease of overall motivation and lower practice of collaboration.

It is time to ask ourselves how leaders can develop the practice of being individually at our mental best and be able to inspire teams in times of change. It all starts with developing the mindsets that unleash our mental capacity to embrace change:

Reinforcing your Connection with Others

  1. Encouraging continuous open dialogue with your team
  2. Building trusting relationships – research shows a high correlation between trust and productivity in teams

Design your Self-Awareness process

  • Understand your biology to optimize your productivity – when and how you get focus, when and how you get fully immersed in your work
  • Identify your personal values – what values drive your decision and are you living up to them
  • Acknowledge your emotions – How much attention are you paying to the present moment rather than in past or future events, are you able to adjust your emotional states?

Create a Structured and Fluid response to change

  • Reframe your Resilience – How well are you coping with setbacks and unexpected events
  • Make Growth Mindset your daily routine – How much do you value learning and being challenged, how much your curiosity survives despite the daily flow of work
  • Replace time by the Sense of Control of your life when you speak about achievements – Are you feeling that you can achieve all you want in life and that it will mainly depend on how much you have control over your life
  • Develop Risk Tolerance – How well do you tolerate failures in you and others in the pursuit of learning and growth

To put all these in practice, you will need to do one last mental effort: you can’t change in one shot – behaviors change only when they are repetitive, when it requires little effort and you have scheduled their practice (a good amount of research on Behavioral Change was done by a professor in Stanford University: BJ Fogg). This means that you will have to learn that change happens through consistency of actions and not with intensity – Here are some questions to ask yourself to start practicing the creation of new behaviors:

  • What is the smallest action that I can start practicing as of today; for example: can I read about a new topic everyday for 5 minutes? Can I do in a daily basis a personal friendly chat with one of my co-workers for 3 minutes? – The brain doesn’t like efforts so make your new behavior short and effortless until it becomes a routine
  • Do I believe that I can I improve my skills by betting on a compound approach where I do small actions every day?
  • Can I live in a more fluid manner of daily continuous improvements – like a Kaizen approach where every now and then you change / pivot your daily habit

Being a leader in times of change requires a great level of agility, compassion, and believe that we can – are you ready to build a greater capacity for change? The practice of these 9 super-powers for change is a continuous practice of small routines and contrary to street wisdom, in most cases it happens because of consistent practice and not through change from one day to the other.


Ivan Palomino is the founder of PeopleKult. He is a recognized expert on Behavioral Sciences applied to Culture Change and Learning. He is a Wellbeing at Work Advocate – he co-founded Bessern, an EdTech platform to improve human skills and wellbeing. His current life project is with PeopleKult – developing human-centric work cultures using behavioral sciences and analytics. Ivan is the co-author of the book The Rough Guide to Awesome Leadership - A brain friendly approach to take action and be an inspiring leader; and he is also the host of the Growth Hacking Culture podcast.