Leadership Quotes  
Leading Change

Leadership Quotes Leading Change emphasizes that change is inevitable, but successfully adapting to change is not. 

In light of that reality, the successful leader develops both the will and skill to initiate and make change “stick”. 

During my career in Corporate, one of my favorite roles was as an SAP Change Management Consultant.  I loved showing individuals how to adapt to change so that they not be bowled over by it.  

These quotes are excerpts from John Kotter's book Leading Change, and is one of my favorites.  Kotter is a leading thought-leader and strategist in successfully navigating change and transition. 

Leadership Quotes Leading Change

Quotes:  Leading Change

Leadership plays a key role in creating and successfully navigating change.  Without it, no appreciable change can occur.  These leadership quotes on leading change tells why:

“Change requires skill and will.”

“Useful change…is never employed effectively unless it is driven by high-quality leadership, not just excellent management.”

“Successful transformation is 70 to 90 percent leadership and only 10-30 percent management.”

“Only leadership can blast through the many sources of corporate inertia.”

“Only leadership can motivate the actions needed to alter behavior in any significant way.”

“Only leadership can get change to stick by anchoring it in the very culture of an organization.”

“Leadership is the engine that drives change.”


Quotes:  Leading Transformations

Successful transformations do not happen on their own, nor do they happen by accident.  They must be led.  And they take time.  These leadership quotes give insights on change and transition:

“The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon.  If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.”

“For change efforts to be successful, behaviors must be altered.  If behavior isn’t altered, we’re doomed to repeat past mistakes.”

“Everyone has a stake in orchestrating change in their organization.”

“Transformations always fail to achieve their objectives when complacency levels are high.”

“Real transformations take time.”

“Change sticks only when it becomes “the way we do things around here,” when it seeps into the very bloodstream of the work unit or corporate body.”

“The problem for us today is that stability is no longer the norm.”

“History has simply not prepared us for transformational challenges.”

“A globalized economy is creating both more hazards and more opportunities for everyone, forcing firms to make dramatic improvement not only to compete and prosper but also to merely survive.”

“The combination of cultures that resist change and managers who have not been taught how to create change is lethal.”

“Transformation requires sacrifice, dedication, and creativity, none of which usually comes with coercion.”


Quotes:  Leading People in Change

I really wish I could say that leading people through change is as easy as revising or implementing a new process.  But it is not.  People have feelings.  They have opinions.  They want to be understood and listened to, to feel that they have been heard.  

Leadership Quotes Leading Change includes quotes related to leading people through change and transition: 

“If change were easy, you wouldn’t need all that effort.”

“Don’t underestimate how hard it is to drive people out of their comfort zones.”

“Without a sense of urgency, people won’t give that extra effort that is often essential. They won’t make the needed sacrifices.”

“Without credible communication, and a lot of it, employees’ hearts and minds are never captured.”

“People will not make sacrifices, even if they are unhappy with the status quo, unless they think the potential benefits of change are attractive and unless they really believe that a transformation is possible.”

“Communication comes in both word and deed. Nothing undermines change more than behavior by important individuals that is inconsistent with the verbal communication.”

“Without short-term wins, too many employees give up or actively join the resistance.”

Want To Know More?

During my career in Corporate, one of my favorite roles was as an SAP Change Management Consultant.  I loved showing individuals how to adapt to change so that they not be bowled over by it.  

Because inability to adapt to change is a major career staller or stopped, leading successful change is one of the most important responsibilities you have in your role as a leader.  You help set the pace for your people.  

Hopefully, Leadership Quotes Leading Change has provided more insights for building your leadership "muscles."

Not convinced that mastering skills for leading change is worth your time and effort?  Check out this excellent Harvard Business Review article entitled "Why Transformation Efforts Fail" based on Kotter's book.  Read it.  I think you will find it very convincing.  

Coming January 2024

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