31 August 2006

Leadership and change (2)

In a previous blog about leadership and change I mentioned that change asks clearity of a leader. He does not need to live others lifes, he needs to lead by living example. An analogy for change to me is climbing a mountain.

Most leaders when working on a change in their organization show people a mountain and tell them about the beautiful view is from the top, once you stand on it. It seems that the leader already has been on the top and now he invites everybody to join him at the top to enjoy the view with him. (People who have experienced change before, know that most of the time when they arrive at the top of the change mountain, the leader has already found a new top from which he is enjoying the view. So the people who came out of the valley to enjoy the view do not get the time to look at it.)
The strange thing of a leader describing the view from the top is that he can only do so, when standing in the valley himself. So he can not have seen the real view from the top.

So starting change by describing to others a view you have not seen yourself, is a hoax .

A possible solution to prevent yourself from becoming a hoax, as a leader, is telling what you expect to see. But never go off on a rant of how beautiful a place must be, when you have not been there. It will come back to bite you.
So what you really must find important is that everybody will reach the top. And that you want to enjoy the view from the top together. And most of all you expect that everybody will be able to reach the top.

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