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INTRODUCTION

What do you know about change? How do you know if you're successful at leading change? Because of the rapidly changing pace of the business world, leading change has become as integral to a leader's success as managing the balance sheet or implementing a new customer service program. Yet research indicates that less than 30% of change efforts succeed. Why?

Most leaders lack a complete picture of how change happens. Too many continue to tinker with tactics and short-term fixes while hoping for transformation and long-term improvement. Many leaders ask others to engage and change without really understanding how to do that themselves. All too often leaders are rewarded for doing their "day job," so they haphazardly lead change "on the side." This results in change feeling fragmented, complicated, or theoretical by those on the front line—those who are required to implement the change.

The current approach to change is incomplete. Until leaders adopt a new approach, their results will be elusive, left to chance, and doomed to similar low success rates. In addition, change fatigue and employee skepticism will increase, reducing the chance for sustainable change and real competitive advantage. Great leaders of change positively impact business performance by fundamentally working differently from most leaders in three ways. First, they change how they think and talk about change. Second, they change their approach to change by engaging both individuals and the organization. And third, they elevate what they do as a leader and the roles they play.

In any other profession, a 70% failure rate would be unacceptable. It's time we make it so in the professional ranks of leadership. Voters, boards of directors, employees, and customers are all screaming for change. If they are not in your industry, they soon will be. The only way to survive as a leader in the twenty-first century is to make change part of your leadership agenda. And that means making it a priority and getting good at it.

The intent of this book is to help leaders evolve what they know about change so that they can transform their leadership and their business. This book provides a "how to" approach that will help anyone champion change no matter their role, organization, or industry. It gives a common language and set of tools to help teams get on the same page, align their work, and collaborate to get faster and better results.

This approach works. It has been tested over the past twenty-five years. It is practical and can be replicated. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this book shows you how to attain deep and lasting change. In short, this approach will help you change the way you change to accelerate your leadership and results.


1

CHANGE THE WAY YOU CHANGE!


"There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders by all those who could profit by the new order. This lukewarmness arises from the incredulity of mankind who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experiences with it."
—Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, and writer

On a blustery November evening many years ago, Gay Hendricks (a psychologist and writer) was obliged to go to a party he didn't want to attend. You know the kind—where you are expected to plaster a smile on your face, meet people you're not interested in, and make small talk about subjects that seemingly have no real purpose. In his own words he said, "We'd been to the party about an hour, and I was dutifully shuffling around from one guest to another. I'd just about given up trying to be convivial when I was introduced to a
tall fellow named Ed. His restless fidgeting suggested that he was having about as much fun as I was. I mentioned this to him, and he endeared himself to me by saying, I loathe parties—can't stand the small talk."

So the two of them changed the conversation and entered into what they called "Big Talk." Gay Hendricks said the conversation "changed my life." He went on to write a book called Five Wishes that further explored his conversation that night.
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