Chapter 9The Change Leader’s Role

What It Takes to Be a Great Change Leader

You’ve volunteered, or been voluntold, to lead a large-scale change program on behalf of your organization—congratulations! It’s no doubt a tribute to all you have accomplished in your career to date. If you’re like most newly appointed heads of large-scale change programs, you’ll be feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety about the challenges ahead. The excitement comes from the opportunity to make a difference on an even bigger stage, and to leave a legacy of forever having changed the trajectory of the organization (having “caterpillar to butterfly” impact!). The anxiety comes from the reality that expectations are extremely high, the spotlight will be intense, and the complexity of the job at hand is significant. What’s more, you are aware that huge bodies of research indicate you are very unlikely to be successful.

We hope at this point in reading this book your excitement has been magnified and your anxiety diminished. You now know exactly what to do to beat the odds. You’ve got a clear, five-stage roadmap to help you stay focused on what matters for success on both the performance and health dimensions that you’ll need to manage. Knowing what to do, however, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a great change leader. Having spent the last eight chapters talking about what you will be “doing,” we dedicate this chapter to how to “be” a great change leader. Before we dive in, let’s get clearer on ...

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