Chapter 10The Leadership Doesn't Stay the Course

‘And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.’

Niccolo Machiavelli30

A cartoon image depicting a person who is addressing a crowd. At the top, the person is asking “who wants change?” and the people in the crowd have raised their hands in the reply. At the middle the same person is asking the same question, and in reply no one has raised the hand. At the bottom, the person is asking “who want to lead the change” and the crowd disappeared.


By now, you have probably deduced that the reason why 88% of change initiatives fail can really be summed up in two words: ‘The Leadership’.

The leadership fails to provide clarity about what needs to be achieved and why. The leadership doesn't fully understand the implications of the change. The leadership fails to create a culture where inertia can be overcome. The leadership allows process to rule outcomes. The leadership inadvertently sets the project up to fail.

And here we are at Reason #10 and guess what? It's the leadership's fault again. This time it is because they don't stay the course. The company's leaders cannot take their eyes off the end goal for one minute. If they do, the change initiative will wither and die – like a flower deprived of sun.

Change is tough. I think we have ...

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