Introduction to the Activity
Leaders are often focused on creating and achieving a vision. In fact, we could argue that a leader’s primary role within an organization is developing the vision and then motivating others to achieve that vision. Leaders must be strategic in their approach in order to set a direction, identify the necessary resources, effectively deploy these resources, and continually reiterate the urgency to achieve the vision. When done well, employees embrace the difficult changes required of them to play a role in the organization’s success.
Consider the Following:
In this exercise, we are going to discuss and evaluate change leaders that you have observed within your organizational environments.
- Identify two change leaders who have introduced and led change in your organization.
- One should represent a successful change leader and the other should represent a less successful change leader.
- Assess their approach to change using Kotter’s checklist for leading change.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of this model as a determinant of successful change leadership.
- Define how each of these leaders approached leadership: skill approach, style approach, or situation approach. Did their style affect their success?
- How well did each leader manage the personal transitions to increase their level of success?
- Based on these examples, construct an argument for the importance and value of the leader as a necessary change agent in the change process.
Further Instructions for DF 4
Be sure you’ve done the reading assignment before crafting your answer to this and other questions. DF 4 can most likely be answered in 250-500 words. You might want to write about your “good example” first, answering all the questions and then the “less successful example” next.
Kotter’s “checklist” for leading change refers to his fairly famous 8 steps: (1) establish a sense of urgency, (2) form a guiding coalition, (3) create a vision for change, (4) communicate the vision, (5) empower broad based actions, (6) create short term wins, (7) build on the change, and (8) anchor the changes in corporate culture. You can check out Kotter’s website for more information if you want:
As for the question regarding how each leader approaches leadership, you will find a lot of information on the skills approach, the style approach and the situational approach in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of the Northouse text. You do not have to identify a specific theory within the approach but just comment in general about what approach you think the leaders followed.
As always, be sure you answer all parts of the DF 4 question. I would structure it in 3 paragraphs; one describing the “good change leader” and answering the questions about that person, one doing the same for the “poor change leader” and then a concluding paragraph with your observations and conclusions about leaders as change agents.