Over the years, I have witnessed many intelligent leaders stumble while leading change. A few because of external challenges or outright hostility; most because they did not recognize what being a leader means nowadays in the fast-moving economy of the 21st century. Without trying to be exhaustive, I want to address how organizational change often becomes a personal dilemma for leaders.
Truth is that by the time leaders consider the need for drastic change, they have already experienced loss of control and stress:
- something is not going as they had hoped,
- worse, it has gone completely awry,
- often, they are in conflict with others about what to do next.
The specters of poor performance and failure haunt the leader’s thoughts. Self-protection rather than change is more the mood of the moment.