Keys to bringing about change

Leaders by definition serve as “change agents.” Leading change is more difficult when the followers are larger in number, when the followers have been longer entrenched in a culture, or when the leader lacks the skills to inspire and move people toward the desired change. As a leader, you only have control of one of those factors; your skills. Books have been written on the subject but I am going to be audacious enough to suggest four keys you can apply immediately that will help bring about change.

  1. Earnestly pray before the process instead of after growing frustrated. Ideas always sound good in theory. However, leaders many times assume an idea is good without seeking God’s wisdom prior to “pulling the trigger.”
  2. Sincerely show love to the people you lead. It may sound obvious but I have seen many a leader fail on this one. If you really love on people and they grow to love you, the result is that they trust you to make decisions and are less resistant. The love of a leader will often trump sentimentality for a tradition or idea. This idea takes time to work but you must begin to implement it right now.
  3. Make key followers think the change is their idea. When you present a problem to key influencers in your group and ask them to brainstorm solutions, they often will come to the same conclusions as you but are much more enthusiastic about the change when they believe it is their idea.
  4. Develop an incremental plan to bring about the change. Sometimes it is possible to divide a solution into ten or more distinct steps that can be applied over many months instead of making a complete change in a weekend and the followers not only don’t resist but sometimes don’t know the change has taken place until it has become the norm.