The team I lead is in the early stages of somesignificant change, and I’m learning something interesting about myself along the way: Even though I am the one who has initiated this, Imay also be the one holding it back the most!
Here is my initial list of “why leaders who want to implement change sometimes struggle to do so”. Some of these I have seen in myself, and others came to mind while I was chewing on the subject. I would love to hear your additional thoughts.
- Very few people “bleed” the ministry like the leader does, so he/she usually has more history with the status quo and has probably invested the most into it. In short, it’s often very hard for the leader to actually make the changes he/she knows need to be made.
- If the changes don’t go well, everybody else gets to hide behind the leader and say, “It was his idea!”. The leader has no place to hide.
- The leader has to defend/sell/propose the changes to those higher up the food chain…which isn’t always an easy sell. Many leaders don’t have the political pull, the trust of sr. leadership, the “fight” etc. to go to bat on behalf of the changes they want to implement.
- Oftentimes, a leader will point to roadblocks (tradition, budget, resources, climate of the church etc.) as an excuse to not make the change. While all of these things must factor into change, they can easily become the reason changeis never implemented.
- Healthy change takes work! Many leaders love to cast vision and then move on to the next big idea without ever getting their hands dirty. But change takes more than simple proclamation, no matter how eloquent the leader can communicate the need (Think about President Obama…great example of change not happening automatically just because the vision is cast…).
There are certainly more…those are just my initial reflections. What would you add?