Which type of change leader are you?

January 31, 2023
January 31, 2023 Maddie Grant

Change leadership is a crucial aspect of any organization’s success, one which is often overlooked in all the tactical discussions about new technology implementation. Change leadership involves the ability to inspire and guide individuals and teams through periods of transformation, helping them to adapt and thrive in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Effective change leaders understand that leading change is not just about implementing new processes or systems, but also about empowering and supporting individuals to embrace and drive the change themselves. This requires a combination of strategic thinking, effective communication, and the ability to build trust and alignment within the organization.

One key element of change leadership is the ability to clearly communicate the vision and goals of the change effort. This involves not only outlining the specific goals and objectives, but also clearly communicating the benefits and value of the change to all stakeholders. Change leaders must be able to paint a compelling picture of the future state and inspire others to join them in the journey.

Another important aspect of change leadership is the ability to manage resistance to change. It is natural for individuals to resist change, especially if they feel that it threatens their comfort or security. Effective change leaders recognize this and take steps to address any concerns or fears that may arise. This may involve providing additional training or support, offering opportunities for input and collaboration, or simply being available to listen and provide reassurance.

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Effective change leaders also understand that leading change requires building strong relationships and fostering a culture of trust and collaboration. This may involve building cross-functional teams, promoting open communication, and creating opportunities for individuals to work together and share ideas. The way trust works is that leaders do what they say they will do. We have seen countless examples of decisions being second guessed or rehashed, which immediately leads employees to think “why bother wasting my time on this when they will just abandon it later?” Change leaders play a crucial role in shaping the culture and direction of an organization, and their approach can greatly impact the success or failure of a change initiative.

There are several different personas that change leaders can adopt in order to effectively guide their teams through change. Here are a few examples:

  1. The Visionary: Change leaders who embody this persona are driven by a clear vision of the future and are able to inspire and motivate others to work towards that vision. They have a strong sense of purpose and are able to clearly communicate the benefits of change to their teams.
  2. The Collaborator: These change leaders excel at building relationships and partnerships, and they are able to bring diverse groups together to work towards a common goal. They are open to different perspectives and are willing to listen and learn from others.
  3. The Innovator: These change leaders are constantly seeking new and better ways of doing things, and they are not afraid to challenge the status quo. They are risk-takers and are willing to experiment and try new approaches in order to drive progress.
  4. The Coach: Change leaders who adopt this persona are skilled at developing and mentoring others, and they are able to help their teams grow and learn through change. They are patient and supportive, and they are able to provide guidance and support to help their teams navigate through challenges.
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Ultimately, the most effective change leaders are able to adapt and adopt multiple personas depending on the needs of their team and the specific situation they are facing. By understanding and leveraging their strengths and areas for improvement, change leaders can effectively guide their teams through change and drive positive outcomes for their organizations.


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Maddie Grant

Maddie Grant, CAE, is an expert culture designer and digital strategist who focuses on helping organizations unlock the power in their culture and navigate culture change. She has specific expertise in digital transformation and generational differences in the workplace. She has explored the language of workplace culture for several years through her books, co-authored with her partner in business and life Jamie Notter, including Humanize: How People-Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World (2011), the Amazon category best-seller When Millennials Take Over: Preparing for the Ridiculously Optimistic Future of Business (2015) and the Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement (2019).