Leading change can be an exhausting and frustrating experience (Denton, 1996), but that is in large part to the natural resistance individuals, as well as organizations, have to change. Change presents uncertainty, which creates anxiety in the people, but change is also necessary. This is why leaders are so vital. Leaders, by nature, are change agents and struggle to allow things to remain status quo (Northouse, 2013); unfortunately, this is where the challenge of change comes in. People, by nature embrace the status quo, and even desire it even if they don’t desire the reality the status quo is creating for them (Caldwell, 2003). It is through the effectiveness of a leader that change occurs, and people are able to find their way toward a reality they desire and long for.
Change itself is a complex phenomenon comprised of many factors (Shanley, 2007). One of these factors is an underlying worldview that acts as a lens from which every interaction in life is seen through (Shanley, 2007). In order to effect change, leaders must provide the means for individuals to have a paradigm shift in their worldview, or find common ground with the worldview that is held in order to provide groundwork to build change off of (Shanley, 2007). When done properly though, change can be a rewarding and even invigorating experience for leaders and followers (Denton, 1996). This is why it is vital for leaders to understand the importance of leading change, and embrace their role, and even responsibility, to lead planned change and manage emergent change (Stichler, 2011). When leaders embrace the importance of change, great innovations occur, life change becomes possible, life and energy are infused within the individuals who are a part of change, and a culture of flexibility is nurtured which serves well when unexpected change occurs.
Caldwell, R. (2003). Change leaders and change managers: different or complementary? Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 24(5), 285–293. http://doi.org/10.1108/01437730310485806
Denton, D. K. (1996). Four simple rules for leading change. Empowerment in Organizations, 4(4), 5–9. http://doi.org/10.1108/09684899610147981
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
Shanley, C. (2007). Management of change for nurses: lessons from the discipline of organizational studies. Journal of Nursing Management, 15(5), 538–546. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2834.2007.00722.x
Stichler, J. F. (2011). Leading Change. Nursing for Women’s Health, 15(2), 166–170 5p. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-486X.2011.01625.x