Every organizational change initiative needs a leader. (Actually, lots of leaders.) When we think of a leader, generally we think of someone who creates a vision, influences people to get on board, and holds people accountable to staying on track. But practically speaking, a leader is the one who is first in line, whom everyone else is following. To influence change, go first.
People do not follow someone who says, “Go that way.” Instead, a leader says, “Come this way.” You can’t expect someone else to test the waters. A leader needs to step forward, to try it out, and show that it’s going to be okay – or at least that the people who follow will not be alone.
Even as you lead change from the middle, you have the opportunity to go first. You can step forward and demonstrate to people at your own level in the organization that it is safe to speak up and take action to make a difference. Anything you create to help people change the way they work you must be willing to try first. Also, use your own influence with organizational leaders to help them go first.
Where do you need to go first?
Read more of the 99 Ways to Influence Change.