Great sportsmen invest a huge amount of time in their training regimes and much less in the decisive competition itself. The focus of all exceptional athletes is on preparation. This is the phase when the essentials for the whole season and the foundations for the desired success are laid. According to American management experts Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, it is the other way round with managers: they barely train at all and spend their whole time in competition instead [1].

The fact that managers train very little takes its toll—primarily in the nature of the competition. Twenty-first-century markets are turbulent and constant change is inescapable. This turns leadership into an energy-draining sport and makes intensive preparation essential for successful change management.

However, necessary changes are nevertheless frequently neglected, along with the essential training for their implementation. Decades ago, Peter Drucker commented that everybody “has accepted by now that change is unavoidable. But that still implies that change is like death and taxes—it should be postponed as long as possible and no change would be vastly preferable” [2]. His observation is as valid for many organizations now as it was then. The fact that changes are put off is related to the uncertainty, anger, and fear associated with the changes themselves. As experience shows, the procrastination bug is also associated with a profound lack of knowledge and ...

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