• Mobilizing people to confront tough, intractable problems, overcome differences, and move beyond the natural resistance to change requires uncommon courage and skill.

  • Leadership – mobilizing people to effect change – demands entering unknown territory.  It, of necessity, requires experimentation and improvisation, and the will to risk dead ends and missteps.

  • Leadership is an activity, not a position.  Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.

  • Leadership occurs not when those in authority offer answers, but when essential questions are kept on – and key people kept at – the table long enough for shared answers to emerge.

  • Leadership for a change is difficult, risky, and rare.   Change involves discomfort and loss.

  • Leadership, thus, requires taking these into account.

  • Set goals that are "SMAART": Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Aggressive, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

  • Your purpose must be clear.


Take stock of your team:

  • Are visions and goals clearly articulated, aligned, and alive?

  • ​Is there a sense of shared accountability and responsibility?

  • ​Are whispered criticisms and “water cooler” talk brought into the open and discussed?

  • ​Is smart risk-taking rewarded?

  • ​Are diversity and voices of dissent honored?

  • ​Is individual growth (personal and professional) nurtured?

  • Arbinger Institute, Leadership and Self-Deception:  Getting Out of the Box, Berrett-Koehler, 2010

  • Frank Barrett, Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz, Harvard Business Review Press, 2012

  • Ronald A. Heifetz, Leadership Without Easy Answers, Harvard University Press, 1994

  • Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, Harvard Business Press, 2009

  • Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky, “Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 2009

  • Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky, Leadership on the Line, Harvard Business School Press, 2002

  • Ronald Heifetz and Donald L. Laurie, “The Work of Leadership,” Harvard Business Review, December 2001

  • Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Immunity to Change, Harvard Business Press, 2009

  • Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, “The Real Reason People Won’t Change,” Harvard Business Review, November 2001

  • Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization, Harvard Business Review, 2016

  • Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations, 2016

  • Ed O’Malley and Amanda Cebula, Your Leadership Edge, Kansas Leadership Center Press, 2015

  • Otto Scharmer, Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges, 2016

  • Kenwyn Smith and David Berg, Paradoxes of Group Life: Understanding Conflict, Paralysis, and Movement in Group Dynamics, Jossey-Bass, 1997.