5 for 5 blog – Leading a big change? Why you need believers, not followers.

1 Mar

2015-03-01 16.29.21

Good morning everyone.

You would be hard pressed to find anyone these days that would say the current rate of change in business, in technology, in anything is slow. We need leaders, more now than ever, because change is constantly happening.

One thing I will offer, is that if you are making big changes, as a leader, you need more than followers, you need believers. All change is hard; no doubt about it. All change carries with it a risk that you could fail; agreed. But big change…transformation can be very unsettling, completely risky, and often the “completion” can be vague.

By definition, a leader must have followers. But as we begin launching a transformational initiative on my own team, I have been thinking more about how to enable those followers to be believers. Believers, in my view, are those followers that will:

  • Understand the magnitude of the transformation, because they first buy into WHY we must do it
  • Stand in the face of possible significant resistance; proverbially banging your head against the wall
  • Put the ultimate results (for my team is it protecting and enabling our company) before their own goals
  • Ignore uncertainty and create something new; take a leap of faith

The size of the change will certainly magnify the risks and uncertainty. As the leader, you must help connect these people with the WHY of the change. You must help them see the potential that lies in the leap. You need help them stay on course despites the valleys and the mountain tops. You must be there with them to market the change, meet opposition, get knocked down and keep on keeping on. Believing is about being “all in” to bring about big change.

Tweet: As the leader, you can NEVER take for granted the decision your team makes to choose to believe in you & the vision. #leadership @5for5blog

Good luck as you lead with purpose. Believe in those who choose to believe in you!

Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 articles:

When Was Your Last Stupid Bold Moment? – by Pat Wadors – via LinkedIn


SO WHAT: An encouragement to take those “leaps of faith” that cross our paths.

Tags: Bravery, Leadership, Growth


7 Tips I Use to Spark My Creativity – by Gretchen Rubin – via www.gretchenrubin.com


SO WHAT: Great ideas for sparking creativity. As a photographer, I have done #2 and #3. But a teacher also told me to study posing on Pinterest, which I have to admit can be fun….appreciating others great talent (which challenges me to up my game).

Tags: Creativity


The Art of Stillness – by Shane Parrish – via Farnam Street blog


SO WHAT: One of the most frustrating things in my life is constantly thinking I need to slow down, and then never doing it. This could be a very good book to check out….which is also why “Wanderlust” by Rebecca Solnit is on my reading list.

Tags: Mindfulness, growth


Leadership Lessons From One Of The First Female Fighter Pilots – by Andy Meek – via Fast Company


SO WHAT: Being fearless… “starts with having that mindset that you aren’t defined by somebody else’s limitations. No matter what barriers or obstacles are in front of you, you go for it anyway. Or somebody else is going to be sitting in your dream job, because you were afraid to step up and try.”

Tags: Leadership, Courage


Ruckusmaker day – by Seth Godin – via @thisissethsblog


SO WHAT: It is easy to avoid saying or doing things that can make a ruckus, because being wrong hurts. But better to be wrong, then wait for an invitation or never to speak up and share your ideas.

Tags: Leadership


All the best, kevin