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Innovative Ways to Support Managers So They Can Lead Effectively: NVA’s Clint Kofford

by Dani Johnson and Stacia Garr | January 31st, 2023

Managers need organizational support to lead effectively. To do so, we may need to completely re-engineer our current systems to offer more assistance so managers can succeed in their roles. 

Clint Kofford, the Vice President of Talent with National Veterinary Associates, has a unique perspective on what it means to be a leader in today’s changing landscape. With extensive experience in numerous multinational companies, Clint is a thought leader in this space. 

In this episode, we discuss what has changed with managers over the last three years, whether rigid structures fit well in a changing work environment, and leaders’ roles in sparking change within their organizations. 

Clint has fascinating viewpoints that caused us both to stop and think and even changed our minds about certain issues. Press play to hear what they are and to see if his views might broaden your perspective. 


What has changed with managers over the past three years?

Over the past three years, organizations have changed substantially. In a post-Covid world, people are looking for meaning more than ever before. In the workspace, change has occurred in three key ways: belonging, work configuration, and significance. 

All three of these areas challenge managers' roles. Many employees are now given more flexibility and autonomy, but at the same time they see life differently. Their values have changed and now they are trying to find out how their values align with their work. 

We ask Clint if it is the manager’s responsibility to enable belonging and significance in the workplace. What do you think? Listen in to hear Clint’s response. 


3 skill sets to create meaningful change

Recently, Clint teamed up with Mike Morrison to write a book that defines what it means to create meaningful change in the workplace. They laid out their structure by exploring three key skill sets. 

  1. Wayfinding is the evaluation of where you are now, where you are going, and whether the path forward is worth it.
  2. Sensemaking describes managing the betweenness. This intuitive step lays out the steps you need to sense your way forward to get to where you want to go.
  3. Self-development means making sure that you have the capabilities to get where you want to go. There is a tightrope walk of balancing your needs with the needs of others. Self-development will help you understand where those two meet so that you can enact change. 


We need more poets as leaders

Effective leaders can create meaningful change in the workplace. Another area explored in Creating Meaningful Change is that leaders need to be both poets and plumbers. Poets create more purpose and vision and interpret the meaning behind things that happen. On the other hand, plumbers make things flow. Over the past several years, the workplace has become over indexed on plumbers, so there is a need to bring in more poets into the leadership world. 

You won’t want to miss this conversation as we explore how to lead through change rather than just leading change in the workplace. 

If you like what you hear, consider checking out our 7-day free trial. Red Thread members get to join a robust and active community of leaders, in-depth reports on the latest research and industry trends, and tools that you can incorporate into your own processes and practices. 


Connect with Clint Kofford


End-of-Season Webinar

Don't miss our season recap, where we will summarize key themes, share critical insights and anecdotes, and identify our questions on how to make managing more manageable.

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