November 17, 2010 Tony Morgan

Leading Change (part two)

Yesterday I shared the first part of my highlights from Leading Change by John Kotter. Here are the rest of my highlights from the book:

  • “Great leaders know how to make ambitious goals look doable.”
  • “Strategy provides both a logic and a first level of detail to show how a vision can be accomplished.”
  • “Communicating even a simple vision to a large number of people can be enormously difficult. Simplicity is essential.”
  • “Real power of a vision is unleashed only when most of those involved in an enterprise or activity have a common understanding of its goals and direction.”
  • “When the urgency rate isn’t high enough, people don’t listen carefully to information about a new vision.”
  • “The most carefully crafted messages rarely sink deeply into the recipient’s consciousness after only one pronouncement. Our minds are too cluttered, and any communication has to fight hundreds of other ideas for attention. In addition, a single airing won’t address all the questions we have. As a result, effective information transferral almost always relies on repetition.”
  • “Major internal transformation rarely happens unless many people assist.”
  • “Constant tension for long periods of time is not healthy for people.”
  • “Whenever you let up before the job is done, critical momentum can be lost and regression may follow.”
  • “Shared values are important concerns and goals shared by most of the people in a group that tend to shape group behavior and that often persist over time even when group membership changes.”
  • “Culture changes only after you have successfully altered people’s actions, after the new behavior produces some group benefit for a period of time, and after people see the connection between the new actions and the performance improvement.”
  • “Sometimes the only way to change a culture is to change key people.”
  • “Without enough leaders, the vision, communication, and empowerment that are at the heart of transformation will simply not happen well enough or fast enough to satisfy our needs and expectations.”
  • “Highly controlling organizations often destroy leadership by not allowing people to blossom, test themselves, and grow.”
  • “The best-performing firms I know that operate in highly competitive industries have executives who spend most of their time leading, not managing, and employees who are empowered with the authority to manage their work groups.”
  • “Shooting for a better future is terrific, but if short-term wins don’t demonstrate that you’re on the right path, you will rarely get the chance to fully implement your vision.”

Over these two days, what were the key thoughts that really caught your attention?

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.
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