Monday, October 31, 2016

You’re the leader. You have a vision. It will require real organizational change. Now what? Empathic leaders may do better at gaining followers than encouraging resistors.

In their excitement for a new idea or fundamental shift in direction, leaders expect others will naturally want to follow and offer their support. Yet even when leaders share a passionate vision and a concrete roadmap leading the way, often it is either too little to build support or concern at the prospect of change outweighs optimism for a better library future. Every library leader will at some point confront resistance to change. In leadership sessions and conference hallway conversations, I will hear from leaders, new ones in particular, perplexed by their inability to engage staff or team members in a productive change process. They wonder if it is something they are doing wrong or simply a case of staff digging in their heels to maintain the status quo—or quite possibly both.