Change or Progress

Bob Schultek Author of
The Gauntlet

Leaders deal with change almost every day. Sometimes it’s intentional, meant to produce sustainable improvement. Other times, it can be a reaction to evolving circumstances.

Many times, there’s a need to act with urgency.

Whatever the motivation, rarely is change easy to implement.

Leading a team from a known, comfortable situation toward an unknown one, is a fundamental and expected challenge of leadership. And the first milestone on this journey is achieving team commitment to the new direction.

Promptly securing this commitment often depends on how you message it. Are you communicating change or progress? It makes a difference as noted in the chart below:

Change Progress
Usually starts with where you are now
and how undesirable this is
Starts by defining where you want to be, why you want to get there, and how desirable this is
Often initiated by fearDriven by aspiration, a desire to improve
Can be directionless –
the impetus is to move away from an
undesirable current state
Is directed – the motivation being to achieve a goal
or at least progress toward that goal
Success may not be clear as the desired outcome is often negative (e.g., to avoid disruption)Success is defined by a clear, specific outcome,
or progress toward it
The outcome can be imposed on youThe outcome is a deliberate choice to move
in the chosen direction

How often are you communicating change vs. progress?

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