Leading change has become a top competency for leaders today. Whether you lead a small team or a global company, developing your ability to lead change is critical.Whether you lead a small team or a global company, developing your ability to lead change is critical. Click To Tweet
I have mentioned on my blog before the classic work of John P. Kotter in his book Leading Change. It is a must for your leadership library. His ongoing research and practical eight-step process in leading change provide a roadmap for navigating change successfully.
As a reminder, his eight steps are:
- Establish a sense of urgency.
- Create a guiding coalition.
- Develop a vision and strategy.
- Communicate the change vision.
- Empower employees for broad-based action.
- Generate short-term wins.
- Consolidate gains and produce more change.
- Anchor new approaches in the culture.
Today, I want to highlight a companion book for leaders of faith who want to lead change while including a biblical and faith foundation for change. Best selling author, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (and my boss), Dr. Thom S. Rainer, has written a great book on change – Who Moved My Pulpit? Leading Change in the Church. As someone who loves the church and has spent decades actively engaged in the church, I know it can be very difficult to lead change in a church.
Dr. Rainer provides valuable insights for leading change that has practical application for leaders of faith whether providing leadership in the church or outside the church.
His roadmap for leading change includes:
- Stop and pray.
“Prayer is not an option in leading change in the church; it is foundational. You are not smart enough to lead change. You need to pray for wisdom. You are not brave enough to lead change. You need to pray for courage. You are not strong enough to lead change. You need to pray for strength.” p. 41
- Confront and communicate a sense of urgency.
“Confront the realities. Communicate the realities. And communicate with a sense of urgency. The choice is simple: change or die.” p. 52
- Build an eager coalition.
“Lone Ranger leaders are not good change leaders.” p. 59
- Become a voice and vision of hope.
“Change agents are agents of hope. And hope has its being in the heart of God. There is no true hope apart from God.” p. 68
- Deal with people issues.
“If you love change more than you love people, you have already failed as a leader.” p. 79
- Move from inward focus to an outward focus.
“This outward focus prepares the members for change. It gets them looking beyond their own needs to the needs of their community and the world.” p. 91
- Pick low-hanging fruit.
“Demonstrate to the congregation that bigger change is possible by leading in smaller change toward the same goal.” p. 131
- Implement and consolidate change.
“Change is not true change until it is ingrained in the culture.” p. 117
The book also has a “change readiness inventory for churches” that is an added bonus to determine an individual, a group, or an entire congregation’s readiness for change.
Enjoy this book and keep developing yourself as a change leader. If you’ve missed any of our previous Summer Leadership Development blogs or podcasts, you can find them here.
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
What step in the change process helps you most in leading change?