Change Leadership

“The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.” – John Kotter

Change Leadership Overview

Change is a constant in almost every business or organization. Leaders are typically the ones who initiate and implement change. Thus, an understanding of the importance of change leadership is critical for an effective leader. The leader must know what changes are necessary and why; determine how to communicate the change; and manage the transition and unintended consequences of change.

Why Change Leadership is Important to a Leader

The most effective leaders are those who understand that change is a process and must be lead in the most purposeful manner. Change leadership involves others and leaders must address how the change will be communicated to insure the desired response. Many changes are difficult and the leader must lead those affected by the change through the transition phase.

Benefits for the LChangeeader

If a leader is excellent in creating change ideas to benefit the organization, plans a change well, communicates it effectively, and helps team members through the transition, the organization will benefit. The leader will be respected and their credibility will grow. Leaders should also be supportive of changes that come down from senior leaders, although they may need to seek clarification on the purpose and anticipated outcomes of the change.

Top 3 Coaches Recommendations for Change Leadership
  1. When considering change, ensure that a business case is developed and assessed before planning and implementing a change. Don’t change just for change’s sake. The business case should evaluate the effects of the change in both the short term and long term.
  2. Understand that once a change is implemented, team members will enter the transition phase. The change plan should address how you will lead the team through the transition to the new state.
  3. If you are asked to implement a change that came from senior leadership, understand the rationale for the change and communicate it to your team within the boundaries of discretion. Do not, as a leader, question the change or disagree with it in front of team members; express your concerns to senior leaders.
Measure and Improve Your Change Leadership Skills

Be determined to improve your change leadership skills and behaviors. Take the short change leadership self-assessment on this page to identify where to improve your change leadership skills and behaviors. Then, get more coaches’ recommendations in Chapter 26 of The Leadership Compass: Mapping Your Leadership Direction to help you fine-tune your change leadership skills and behaviors.

Related Competencies:


Change Leadership

Measure your change leadership skills and behaviors!

Select your level of agreement with each statement in the self-assessment.
When answering the questions, consider how others might evaluate your change leadership.


Recommended Change Leadership Books:

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