Lead Through Change


When leading change, are you calm, confident, and focused — or anxious, threatened, and scattered?
Change comes at us nonstop in every form: organizational structures, market competition, government regulations, tax laws, revenue expectations, financial and accounting requirements, quality initiatives, unexpected events… it’s unrelenting.
According to Alan Deutschman in Change or Die, 88 percent of us take on a pessimistic outlook with change. The emotional impact organizational change has on your team must not be underestimated. Consider these practices useful for leading through change:
  • Recognize how the change impacts you. How you relate to and experience it will impact how you communicate it to others. 
  • Ask as many questions as possible to ensure you can shape the context for your own team. 
  • Identify the level of transparency. Be intentional about what you disclose to ensure your team can process the change at the speed they need to. 
  • Decide what your communication style will be during the change. You may need to balance your own mixed feelings while honoring your professional responsibility.


  • Recognize that change and growth is hard. It’s okay to struggle with it. The fact that you’re a leader doesn’t mean you’re immune to having emotional reactions to change. Allow yourself to work through a process. But be judicious about doing it privately versus publicly.
  • Consider separating how the change impacts you personally from its effect on the organization. Focus on what you can champion as you marshal the change for the benefit of others. Your team members are watching you carefully for how you project confidence and regulate your emotions. The more mindful you are of this truth, the better you can model what you want to see from them.
  • Remember to think abundantly (Challenge 2). Change often opens new doors, experiences, opportunities, etc.

For more on leading through change, watch this short clip from Scott Miller, author of the book Management Mess to Leadership Success.

Leading a team requires a different skillset than working as an individual contributor. To succeed in the face of new challenges, first-level leaders need to shift how they think and act. Download our latest guide and develop your people into a high-performing team. 


Previous Article
Get Better
Get Better

Are you consistently assessing your relevance and advancing your skills and capabilities?

Next Article
Make High-Impact Commitments
Make High-Impact Commitments

When you set a goal, are you committed and ready to achieve a winnable game? Or do you fizzle out? Learn to...