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Home / Article  / 2 Powerful Truths on Leading Change

2 Powerful Truths on Leading Change

Change is here to stay. You know this, you must accept it, and yet as a leader you must make the changes work.

As you lead your people through constant change, it is imperative you understand two critical success keys for leading transformational change.

1) Change is a personal issue, not an intellectual issue.

This is important to understand.

We KNOW we need to change things (intellectual) – often we simply don’t want to (personal)!

Too often leaders approach change as a left-brain, bottom-line intellectual issue. “The numbers don’t add up folks. Sales are down, competition is on the rise. Our cash flow is as a trickle. Our inventory costs are too high and so is our payroll. See why we need to change?”

Your team KNOWS things need to change (even when things are going good). Change for them is more of a personal issue, something beyond cold, hard facts.

Which leads to Truth #2.

2) People do not fear change but the LOSS associated with the change.

People change things about them all the time – the clothes they wear, their hairstyles, vacation spots, cars, where they eat and live, even who they marry. It’s not change they fear but rather the potential losses associated with the change that people fear.

For example, if you decide a change is necessary for productivity and efficiency, your staff might agree that the change is needed but are reluctant because they might lose their power, prestige, familiarity, efficiency, control, friends, pride, … and even their jobs.

It’s the personal side of change that we leaders must be ready to address, even more than the intellectual reasons for the change.


By Dr. Jim Harris