Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Many companies are not getting the planned results from their change programs.
One of the reasons for this is that the leaders think that they themselves don’t need to change. These leaders are convinced that they already incorporate the right behavior. Therefore they demand that all the other managers and employees do change.

This sends a wrong signal to all these people. To make change easier it is very stimulating to have an example, someone who is the personification of the new behavior, of the new way of working.
Many of us have examples (heroes) in our personal lives, like Leonardo Da Vinci (‘that is my example’), Mother Teresa, Michael Jordan or Beyoncé.

The same logic applies to our professional lives. It is much easier to face a challenging change when there is an example, when the leader is showing you the path.
Some years ago when I did work for an American company there was a security threat and we had to wear our badges visibly all the time. This is some kind of nuisance, because you have to put them on your coat and then on your suit and then on your shirt. But. Still you have to do it. What happened was that leaders apparently didn’t like this either, so they didn’t wear the badges at all. Guess what happened, all the employees stopped wearing them also.

If you as a leader require a certain change or a certain new behavior than you have to be aware that you are the living proof, the living example yourself. In this way your own credibility as well as that of the change itself increases significantly.

Are you an example, all the time?


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