of the
Leadership Heroic
Roles and Journey


Gordon Barnhart
515 Terrace Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220
© 2008. Gordon Barnhart. All rights reserved.
Illustrations by Jim Borgman

Why These Roles?
The Catalyst
ROLES & THEIR CORE ÿ The Questions to Answer
ÿ Strategy #7: Expanding the Leadership
ÿ Strategy #8: Operational Detail for the
ÿ Strategy #9: Preparing the People &
the Organization
The Guide
ÿ The Leadership Challenges Presented by ÿ Strategy #10: Communication
Our World Keep Changing ÿ Strategy #11: Letting Go & Dealing with
ÿ The Heroic Journey Dictates the Leadership “inbetweenity”
Roles ÿ Strategy #12: Accountability
ÿ There Are Always Two Goals ÿ The Builder
ÿ Strategy #13: Leadership Maintenance
SUMMARY OF THE ROLES & ÿ Strategy #14: Muscle Building

ÿ Strategy #15: Mastery
Characteristics of Strong Leadership in Act III:
What Would We See?
ÿ Act I: Leadership Roles in the Beginning
ÿ Act II: Leadership Roles on the Path
ÿ Act III: The Leadership Role in Completion ACT III: THE LEADERSHIP ROLE

ÿ Why This Role?
ÿ Leadership Power and Leverage ÿ The Integrator
ÿ Two Questions Help Determine How the ÿ Strategy #16: Managing the “Ripple
Roles are Played Effect”
ÿ Strategy #17: Aligning the Organization
ÿ Strategy #18: Attuning the People
ÿ Characteristics of Strong Leadership in
BEGINNING Completion: The Discipline We Would See
to “Finish Strong”
ÿ Why These Roles?
ÿ The Questions to Answer DIFFERENCES IN LEADING
ÿ Strategy #1: The Business Case
ÿ Strategy #2: Vision
ÿ Strategy #3: Leadership Commitment ÿ Why Community Change can be
ÿ The Architect More Difficult
ÿ Strategy #4: Organization Design ÿ Potential Advantages in Leading
ÿ Strategy #5: Action Plan for the Journey Community Change
ÿ Strategy #6: Leadership Web
ÿ Characteristics of Strong Leadership
in Act I: Leaders Worthy of Followers
ÿ Reflect
ÿ If/When in a Leadership Role
THE PATH ÿ If/When in a Follower Role

THE SIX LEADERSHIP The Heroic Journey Defines the
Leadership Roles to be Played
ROLES & THEIR CORE (Roles that match the most fundamental
STRATEGIES story of change)

The roles for leaders of major change are de-
The Leadership Challenges signed to challenge and support people in say-
Presented by Our World Keep ing “yes” and fully committing to the
Changing journey. They meet the challenges
end-to-end strong beginnings,
(More complex & interdependent – perseverance on the path and roles are
one on top of another) finishing well. The roles are
designed to help people be
designed to
The challenges are becoming more complex and
more interdependent. They come one on top
the authors of the experi- challenge
ence and to be the authors
of another and require more people to take on together. The roles are also people to find
leadership roles. Whether novices or seasoned
veterans, we are being asked for high levels of
designed to challenge peo-
ple to find their best as in-
their best as
performance in rapidly changing environments. dividuals. individu-
These are environments characterized by shift-
ing requirements that can make formerly suc- Taken as a set, they also clear- als and
cessful ways of leading ineffective. And we are
finding ourselves involved in a daunting number
ly outline the commitment of
leadership and provide a clear
of changes at the same time. message that the leadership effort
will match the challenge. Trust in that com-
On a global scale we face environmental, so- mitment grows as the actions begin to give defi-
cio-political and health challenges – as well as nition to the roles and as leadership clearly and
challenges of dangerous economic imbalances. frequently holds itself accountable for executing
Nationally and in local communities we deal with the roles successfully. Trust also grows as the
issues of safety, economic health, faith in gov- web of leaders and followers expands.
ernment, education, race relations and general
quality of life. Our organizations face constant A note on scale. Leaders all face these challeng-
challenges to change, from changes in structure, es, whether they are leading systems, organiza-
roles and relationships to changes in processes, tions, divisions, department, or teams. The scale
technologies and management style. Many of us may be different, but the questions are the same.
face changes in more than one of these domains The leadership roles are simply played on larger
and feel a need to be involved in even more. or smaller scales.

How do we manage complex interdependent
challenges with approaches that match their true
requirements – and not retreat to simplistic ap-
proaches that don’t ask as much of us, give the
appearance of leadership, but never really have
a chance of sustained success?

Leading with Strategic Intent and implemented.
Orchestrating the Roles and Strategies The Leadership Tools. For each of the strategies
there are some suggested starter tools. These
There are six leadership roles to be played. The are basic tools that can used as is or adapted.
roles are organized in the three phases that match Adaptation is usually wise to ensure fit with the
the three acts of the heroic journey, although the situation. You can also create or use other tools
boundaries are not ironclad and roles will often as desired. The tools presented here are simply
be played in stages other than their dominant intended to make it easy to take the next step in
stage. The roles in each stage will also set up the acting on the strategy.
roles in the following stages.
Leadership Power and Leverage. We cannot con-
We can play these roles in many ways. We can trol change. We can, however, exert a great deal
play them automatically, as tasks to be gotten off of influence and each role provides a different
a “to do” list, or out of a fear of failure. We can opportunity for such influence. Taken together,
also play them with great awareness and strate- they create an environment that will support the
gic intent, as ways to create and influence, and efforts, risks and sacrifices that are necessary
out of a sense of excitement and possibility. We for a successful journey if change. Each leader-
can commit ourselves just enough to get them ship role will offer different amounts of leverage
done or we can follow the Samurai code and at different times, but they all have their place
“engage fully and with excitement.” and none can be ignored without diminishing
leadership’s influence.
For Leaders of Change There are
The key is to play all of the roles at the appropri-
Always Two Goals for Sustained
ate points in the journey and to ensure that suf-
Success: ficient people in the web of leaders are playing
Achieve the envisioned goals of the current those roles. The roles are expected to reinforce
change or performance initiative. We must be each other. They overlap and are interdependent.
effective in the short term to be around for the They are not designed to stand alone and none
long term. are capable of doing all that is required by them-
selves. They are a set and should be designed

1 Lead that journey of change in a way that
builds the resilience and change adeptness
of the organization for sustained success
so that they fit together and support each other.

The Players. Leading a journey that success-
and health. Just getting through a journey isn’t fully achieves the specific desired outcomes as
enough. well as the increased competency and resilience
to support the next journeys requires a web of

2 We must build organizations that can repeat-
edly respond effectively to change and stay
healthy in the process. This includes the de-
leaders that execute the strategies for each of
the six roles. The key is to play all of the roles
at the appropriate points in the journey and to
velopment of exemplary leadership. ensure that sufficient people are playing those
roles. They can be played in relatively simple or
The Strategies. Each leadership role has a set
very complex ways to match the nature of the
of three core strategies that gives definition to
particular journey.
the role, but the implementation of those strat-
egies is an art form, which provides the interest
as well as the depth of the leadership challenge.
The roles and strategies provide a great deal of
guidance, but they are not a recipe or formula
that looks the same in every application. The art
form comes in how these strategies are crafted

Two Questions Will Help
Determine How the Roles
Are Played

? How will our group or team play these
roles? Although the heroic journey will al-
ways be the fundamental framework for
the change process, it will look different in each
case. So, the question for each team or leader-
ship group is, “How will we ensure that all the
roles are played and the core strategies execut-
ed?” Which of us will play which roles? How will
the others support us? How will we hold our-
selves accountable?

? On what scale will I and/or my team play
these roles? For instance, a department
head may be part of a leadership team that
looks corporate-wide at building the required
performance capabilities (the builder role). That
same department head may also play the vision-
ary role on a smaller scale within his or her de-
partment by making the business case for the
change and creating a vision within the depart-
ment. He or she may also play the catalyst role
by engaging more people in the department in
leadership roles or by preparing their people for
the journey.

Senior Leadership. Senior leadership groups are
usually more involved in the leadership roles
early in each phase of the journey and then at
selected high leverage points as the journey
progresses. In successful journeys other lead-
ers then join the web and play their roles at the
appropriate scales. Senior leadership can never
disconnect (they need to model persevering and
“holding the course”), but the leadership must
expand with more and more people guiding the


• Create a shared perception of the need for • Create the organization design required to
change and a sense of positive urgency realize the vision of the desired state and
• Create a strategic vision of the desired state conduct a more detailed impact assessment
and assess its likely impact on the organiza- • Develop a plan for leading the journey to
tion and its people close the gap between current reality and
• Create a vision of how the change journey the envisioned desired state and manage
will be conducted and the leadership commit- resistance
ment being made • Design the web of leaders and followers
required for the journey and build the core
elements of that web


• Bring people into the web • Develop and maintain sys- • Expand and maintain the
of leaders with clear roles, tems for communicating out web of leaders and build the
expectations and support and back in (feedback), as capabilities required
• Add the operational detail to well as for promoting dia- • Build the individual, group
the vision and organization logue among people and organizational capabil-
design • Guide people in letting go ities required in the desired
• Conduct a “change readi- of what must be left behind state
ness and capability study” and dealing with the chal- • Guide people in the process
and prepare the organiza- lenges of “inbetweenity” of discovery and the extend-
tion and its people for the • Create processes and an ed challenges of mastery
journey environment that promote
“dynamic accountability” in
order to maintain direction
and energy


• Assess the “ripple effects” of the changes, including the likely reactions of others, and
determine a range of responses
• Align the “things” of the organization to institutionalize the changes
• Ensure that the people of the organization have internalized the changes

ACT I: LEADERSHIP trust and we must demonstrate that worthiness
through the way we execute these roles and
ROLES IN THE strategies.

BEGINNING The Questions to Answer
Lots of normal, natural and self-protective ques-

Why These Roles? tions arise. These questions must be honored
and answered as well and as quickly as possi-
The roles in the beginning of a major journey of ble. The short list includes:
change are characterized by an intensive effort
to awaken people to the need for the journey, set
direction, provide structure and plans and devel- • Why do we need to go forth?
op a core web of leaders to launch the journey
with confidence and credibility. • What kind of leadership can we expect?
How journeys begin is of critical importance to
the rest of the journey. Led poorly in the begin- • Where are we going?
ning, journeys are usually difficult uphill strug-
gles characterized by consistent efforts to com- • How are we to conduct the journey?
pensate for a poor beginning.
• What roles will we be expected to play?
The real bottom line is that we are trying to mo-
bilize and guide people’s energy: their vitality, • Will we be prepared or just thrown in?
creativity, willingness to put forth extra effort, to
sacrifice, to experiment and take risks, to trust • What will be in place to support us?
each other and the organization, and to “learn
the way”. • What might the impact be on me and
what can I expect along the way?
In efforts to reach new dimen-
“The sions of performance or sim-
roles are ply survival we will be call-

ing people to go forth and
leave their known world
to challenge orbe comfort zone. We will
asking them to let go
people to find of many old ways ranging IN THE BEGINNING
from relationships and
their best as ways of working to pos-
“What Would We See?”
individu- sible career opportunities
and things that provide a Beginnings matter – a great deal. Strong leader-
als and sense of identity and worth. ship in the beginning is characterized by leaders
groups” pleEven if all the things that peo-
fear losing aren’t really going
1. Awaken people to the need for the change
to be lost there is no way for them
and creating a sense of positive urgency
to know that early in the journey. Leaving
about going forth.
a known world means encountering one with a
great deal of unknown and uncertainty. 2. Create a strategic vision of the desired state
at the end of the journey as well as a vision
We are asking people to trust us and commit
of how the journey will be conducted and
themselves fully. We must be worthy of that
what the experience might be like.

3. Have the courage to see and speak the truth and establishing a powerful leadership commit-
about the likely impact of the change both ment to the journey required generates the vi-
on the organization and on its people. (This sion led energy necessary to join with and bal-
is a far tougher challenge than it appears to ance the threat driven energy.
Rather than simply wielding power, visionaries
4. Make a clear and credible commitment about honor those they intend to lead by addressing
how the journey will be led – what people the legitimate questions that people have about
can expect of leadership and how they can beginning a journey of change – Why are we go-
expect to be involved. ing forth? To achieve what? How will the jour-
ney be led? What is the likely impact on me?
5. Create the leadership web necessary to sup-
port the journey. This includes the creation The visionary is obviously key early in the jour-
of a core leadership team that is clearly an ney, but also plays a recurring role throughout
“A” team and up to the challenge – a team – reminding people about why they have gone
that communicates leadership’s commit- forth, what is to be achieved, the commitment of
ment by its charter and membership. leadership and what’s possible for individuals.

6. Add the details to the strategic vision to Leaders at many levels will play this role as
create a clear picture of the organizational the vision is communicated and championed
design required for success. (The scale can throughout the organization. They will play a
range from a single department to a whole key role in the discipline of assessing the impact
organization.) of the changes on various stakeholders and el-
ements of the organization – the basis for man-
7. Develop a plan for managing the journey aging resistance legitimately and effectively
that gives people a roadmap to follow. managing a journey. They will also play the re-
curring role to keep those around them aligned
Remember: For those of us leading a major
and energized.
change the heroic challenge is to be worthy
of followers; their belief, hope, trust, personal
investment and effort, their sacrifice, and the
risks they take regarding job, career, family, and
place in the world.

The visionary “puts the organization in play”
and provides the basis for all of the roles that
follow. A visionary generates and directs the
two primary sources of energy that drive
change: threat driven energy and vision led en-
ergy. Both sources of energy are required for
sustained change.

Establishing the need for change and the likely
consequences of various responses relates to
threat driven energy. Picturing a clear and com-
pelling vision of the desired state to be pursued

Strategy #1: The Business Case
Create a shared perception of the need for change and a sense of positive urgency.

The visionary challenges, inspires, and awakens people to the need for change and for the jour-
ney it requires. The visionary has the courage to see and speak the truth, the courage to be unpop-
ular if necessary, to ask or tell people that they must leave their known world. A visionary wakes
people up to the forces that are precipitating the need for change and builds a sense of positive
urgency about engaging in the journey required. Visionaries teach people about the likely or
possible consequences of leaving the current known world and going forth as well as the conse-
quences of refusing to do so. They also highlight the opportunities, including the opportunities for
individuals for growth in the process of helping the organization achieve the desired outcomes.

The business case addresses the natural questions:

• “Why must we change?
• Why go forth and take risks and commit more energy and potentially lose something in the process?
• If we leave our known world, where are we going?
• What will the impact be on me and what will the journey be like?
• How committed is leadership?
• What can we expect from them?”
Those are questions that people deserve to have answered. If they are not answered well, lead-
ership loses credibility right at the beginning of the journey and people will be rightly skeptical.

Business Case Tools

• Map of Change Precipitants (internal and particularly external forces driving the need to change)
• Map Comparing (a) the Natural Consequences of Not Changing
• With (b) the Potential Opportunities in Changing
• Plan for Communicating (Teaching) the Business case

Strategy #2: Vision
Create a strategic vision of the desired state
and assess the likely impact on the organization and its people.

A visionary has the courage to make the commitments to a strategic or “big picture” vision of the
desired state that must be achieved for success. They can speak to people’s emotions and spirit
(heart) as well as their intellect (head) and are willing to tell people the truth about what will be
encountered and expected of people. The vision must be both compelling and specific enough to
be real to people.

The deceptive challenge for the visionary in executing this strategy is assessing the likely impact of
the journey on the various stakeholders (internal and external) of the organization. This is another
example of the courage to see and speak the truth – and then be ready to do something about it.
The impact of the journey may well be very positive for most people, but the impacts that are not
are the core sources of the legitimate resistance encountered by leaders. Identifying the likely

positive and negative impacts, talking to those affected and mitigating as much of the negative
impact as possible both honors those following as well as preventing a good deal of resistance.

The next leadership role, the architect, will build on the “big picture” vision to create the organization
design that will be required. The architect adds details and also conducts impact assessments
based on the added detail. Leaders in the following catalyst role will add even more details, so
that the vision and organization design are “operationalized” – picturing what daily operational
reality will look like.

Strategic Vision Tools

• Templates for Creating the “Big Picture” Strategic Vision (to the level of detail possible at this point)
• General Impact Assessment of Implementing the Vision

Strategy #3: Leadership Commitment
Create a vision of how the journey will be conducted
and the leadership commitment being made.

Visionaries not only create pictures of the desired state at the end of the journey, but also pictures
of how the journey will be conducted. Of critical importance for the visionary is the ability (and
willingness) to authentically make and clearly communicate the commitment of leadership to the
conduct of that journey. An inadequate or inauthentic commitment from leadership is a message
that nobody misses and it can sabotage the journey right at the beginning. Leadership must also
be willing to “walk the talk” and hold themselves accountable for their performance in a high vis-
ibility manner as the journey progresses.

The leadership commitment essentially lays out what behaviors followers can expect from their
leaders on the journey and what behaviors they will not see. These sets of behaviors are decep-
tively challenging for leaders as they lay out leadership behaviors that can be very challenging at
times and they are a basis for accountability.

It is the trilogy of (a) making the leadership commitment, (b) communicating the commitment (re-
peatedly and (c) modeling the commitment that makes the difference). Missing any of those three
elements will undermine people’s belief in leadership and their willingness to truly commit to the

The key for making an authentic leadership commitment is to simply craft a statement that is clear
and specific – one you are willing to stand behind. The key in communicating the commitment is
stating it multiple times in multiple ways in multiple settings. Then the tricky part happens. It is
critical to be very intentional about finding and taking advantage of opportunities to model the
commitment – and immediately owning up to any stumbles.

Leadership Commitment Tools

• Statement of Senior Leadership Commitment
• Map of Opportunities to Model the Desired Leadership
• Map of Senior Leader Champions of Each Leadership Role

• Knows the environmental domains
• Knows the organization
• Has the courage to see, hear and speak the
• Has the courage to see and speak about the
natural impact on people and the organiza-
tion’s commitment to respond
• Is possibility oriented vs. threat oriented
• Thinks outside the box
• Is outcome and goal oriented
• Understands and commits to the required
• Challenges people and the organization as a
• Has the ability to engage and collaborate
with others
• Goes beyond “communication” to “teach”
about the change
• “Models the way” in terms of desired behav-

The architect is the organizer, the one who mar-
shals resources and creates the plans and struc-
tures necessary for the journey. Architects deal
with increasing levels of detail, create form and
synergy and add structure and details to the
work of visionaries.

As with the visionary role, the role of architect
will be played by people at different levels of the
organization. A leader might be charged with As with the visionary role, the role of architect
aligning their division or department with the will be played by people at different levels of the
overall plan for the journey or expand the web organization. A C-Suite leader would be charged
of leaders with clear roles out into their areas of with change across the organization. An execu-
responsibility. tive level leader might be charged with aligning
his or her division or department with the over-
Architects tend to play their roles early in the all plan for the journey. A director or depart-
journey and then rely on the other leadership ment head might be in charge of change only
roles for implementation. They work hard and within their own domain or might be charged
fast and then they are mostly done. with aligning their domain with a larger scale
change. In any of those scenarios, the leader-
The Architects begin to provide specific answers ship roles and strategies are relevant – they just

to the normal questions that people have at the need to be adapted and applied.
beginning of a journey: Architects tend to play their roles early in the
journey and then rely on the other leadership
roles for implementation. They work hard and
• What must our organization look like at fast and then they are mostly done.
the end of the journey to be successful
and stronger than when we started?

• What’s the plan for conducting the
journey – goals, strategies,
responsibilities, resources, timing?

• What does the leadership structure look
like – who is leading this journey?

• Is the core leadership group an “A” team
– are they up to it – can we trust their
competence and character?

Strategy #4: Organization Design
Create the organization design required to realize the vision of the desired state.

One of the danger points in major change is when the original strategic vision must be
expanded into an organization design that can actually bring the vision into being. The
architect’s design choices can encompass mission, strategy, roles and structure,
ìThe as well as key systems, work processes, competencies and technologies. The
choices can range from the types of people required for success and the
scale of desired relationships among individuals, groups, and units to the desired
the change management or leadership style. Those playing the catalyst role will add the
initiative further operational detail to this design.

can range The scale of the change initiative can range from a department to a whole
from a de- organization or even a system of organizations. It’s the complexity that
changes. The basic design questions from which to choose are the same,
partment although not all questions are relevant for all changes. Architects do have
to a whole to be careful, however, to ensure that even if they are just changing a pro-
cess, they are asking whether there need to be complementary changes in
organiza- other elements, such as roles, relationships or specific skills.
A major challenge for the architect is ensuring that the senior people involved are
disciplined in making choices about all of the relevant organization design factors
and not just a few. The good news is that there are a lot of design elements that can be
addressed to create the organization capable of achieving the vision. The bad news is that there
are a lot of elements to address and that takes a commitment of time and energy. Making sure
that the elements all fit together is the other challenge for the architect.

Organization Design Tools

• Organization Design Template
• Impact Assessment - more detailed than Visionary impact assessment
• Map of People Playing the Architect Role

Strategy #5: Action Plan for the Journey
Develop a plan for leading the journey to close the gap between
current reality and the vision of the desired state.

“The Although every organization will have its own approach to planning, and the lev-
el of detail may vary widely, there are a few characteristics that are usually a
plans part of any plan for the journey. Initially, both current reality and the desired
must en- state must be understood and the gap between them assessed. The orga-
sure that they nization design provides the structure and map for this assessment.
attand to both The steps to be taken to close the gap must be clear; roles, respon-

the business and sibilities, timing, interim goals, resources allocated and methods of
accountability are central to most plans. The plans must ensure that
the human chal- they attend to both the business and the human challenges inherent in
the particular changes. As with the organization design, the plans for
lenges inherent the journey of change constitute a mental model of how to think about
in the particu- the organization and a set of commitments. These commitments guide
the actions of leaders and provide a basis for accountability. They also
lar changes” strengthen the foundation of trust for those being asked to follow because
people can see that a solid plan is in place to meet the challenge.

Action Plan Tools

• Set of Plan Elements to Customize
• Map of People Involved in Planning

Strategy #6: Leadership Web
Design the web of leaders and followers required for the journey
and build the core elements of that web.

Architects design and create the core elements of the extensive web of leaders and followers
that is required to support a successful journey. At the center of the web the architect builds
the core leadership team. This is a team that must be, and be perceived to be, capable of
meeting the challenges of the envisioned change. As with the initial leadership com-
mitment, the composition of this core team is a message that nobody will miss. “If
If the core team is perceived to be up to the challenge, people are likely to
join in. If it is perceived to be inadequate, getting people’s commitment be- core team
comes extraordinarily difficult (and rightly so). In addition to its member-
ship, critical elements demonstrating the core team’s commitment to the
is perceived
leadership of the journey are its charter, the resources available to it, and to be up to
its initial actions.
the challenge,
Linked to that core team and to one another are other groups and key in- people are
dividuals, often numerous and wide-ranging. The groups in this leadership
web may be part of the normal structure of the organization, or they may likely to
be developed specifically to support the journey. As this web of leadership is
built out from the core team into the organization, the power and reach of lead-
join in”
ership extends to link people to the change process and to link the overall vision to
daily reality. Wherever the leadership web stops, leadership’s power and reach stop or
begin to rapidly decline. It is the catalyst that must drive the expansion of the leadership web
and the builder that must maintain it.
Leadership Web Tools

• Map of the Core Leadership Team
• Map of the Basic Leadership Web of Individuals/Groups

• Thinks systemically about organizations
• Not afraid of the complexity of designing
• Integrative thinker and collaborative in
• Understands leadership and follower-
ship and the web required
• Knows the best formal and informal
leaders and can recruit them
• Good at building teams and creating
• Understands requirements of the jour-

ACT II: While people are dealing with the challenges
LEADERSHIP ROLES found on the journey they will also be expected
to continue producing and running the ongoing
ON THE PATH operations. We have to manage the business of
the organization at the same time that
we are changing the organization.
WHY THESE ROLES? That’s often like rebuilding the
plane in flight. At the same
The roles to be played on the path are designed time, we will be challenged people
for the long haul and require persistence,
stamina, and discipline because there can be
to take care of ourselves
as well as others and we
are dealing
no wavering. The leaders who fill these roles will be challenged to with the chal-
are charged with persevering and “holding the
course.” Most journeys really take an extended
find those that we can
depend upon and lean
lenges found
period of time to complete and these roles must upon when we are on the journey
support people throughout all of the challenges
that occur, many of them surprises.
tired or wounded. they will also be
Perhaps the most dif- expected to con-
There are tremendous needs for communica-
tions, the building of capabilities, and the main-
ficult part of the jour-
ney is the challenge
tinue producing
tenance and expansion of the web of aligned to hold ourselves ac- and running
leaders and followers. There is an equal need for
guidance in dealing with endings, beginnings,
countable and “learn
the way” - to maintain an
the ongoing
and “inbetweenity”, the renewal of energy and open and acute awareness operations”
confidence, and the ability to “learn the way, to and to learn quickly from
navigate and stay on or return to the path. the experience and translate
that learning into new directed
We will be asking people to learn new ways of action. We are constantly challenged
working and relating, perhaps new technologies to maintain direction and energy. We must al-
or informal ways of getting things done. People ways balance the demands of the journey with
will need to find new ways to influence and con- the demands of ongoing operations. We will
tribute and may need to establish or reestablish face many surprises, the rules of the game may
a sense of worth and identity. All the while they change, new players may emerge, and we will
will be learning and mastering these new ways often face our own doubts and uncertainties.
they will be expected to continue producing.
The test is to move quickly in the face of un-
People will also have to deal with “inbetweeni- certainty, to move with sureness across shifting
ty”, that land that lies between letting go of the terrain, to accept that the path is not linear and
old and discovering and taking on the new. The not without detours and dead ends, and to do
uncertainty, disorientation, anxiety, and lack of so with a base of trust and confidence.
form of this land can often be the toughest tests
of all. People may not feel totally lost or experi-
ence complete chaos, but those experiences are
often lurking. As one Shell Oil executive said
about the major changes at Shell, “We are mov-
ing forward briskly into the fog.” “Inbetweeni-
ty” is an essential part of significant change, but
it can be an unnerving part.



Effective execution of the leadership roles “on the path” shows visible results, which indicate that
the journey is progressing toward the desired state and outcomes. Strong leadership on the path is
characterized by leaders who:

1 Dramatically increase the number of people
who are actively engaged in the web of lead-
ers and followers - and maintain that web
8 Conduct formal and informal efforts to renew
energy, confidence, and a sense of positive
urgency as well as help people recover from
consistently. the inevitable mistakes, disappointments, de-
tours, and injuries.
Implement a process of adding the opera-
2 tional details to the organization design –
illustrating the daily reality to be achieved 9 Provide support and rewards for risk taking,
experimentation, and living with questions
(“operationalizing” the vision and organiza- (sometimes for an extended period of time).
tion design).

Assess the readiness of the organization for
the journey and prepare people to be suc-
10 Conduct formal and informal efforts to es-
tablish or reestablish relationships of people
to other people, their groups, the organiza-
cessful in leaving their known world and suc- tion, ways of working, value and belief bas-
ceeding on the path - change capability and es, etc. – keep people connected.

Conduct frequent and informal accountabil-

Implement communication systems where ity checks. These are characterized by (a)
relevant information moves out to people, in the celebration of interim achievements and
from people (feedback), and among people worthy efforts, (b) learning from the experi-
(dialogue about the experience and the trans- ence to date, and (c) taking affirming and/or
fer of learning). corrective actions.

Ensure that individual, group and organiza-
tional capabilities are rapidly built for suc-
cess in the envisioned desired state at the
12 Identify and remove systemic barriers, in-
cluding the realignment of the organization,
making key decisions on which others rely,
end of the journey. and prioritizing the allocation of resources.

Challenge and support people in dealing di-
rectly with the impact of the change, particu-
larly endings, letting go, and loss.

Challenge and support people in holding
the course in the efforts required to master
new ways as well tolerating the initial awk-
wardness, doubts, and dips in performance
that precede higher levels of performance.
now on to ACT III

LEADERSHIP ROLE #3: • Am I included in the conduct of this jour-
THE CATALYST ney or just a target (or victim) of it?

• What roles can I play that will influence
the conduct of the journey and the out-
The catalyst role is critical, but often
“With- overlooked. The common dan-
ger is that once the vision, or-
• How might I conduct myself personally
out the ganization design, change
so that I have the best experience possi-
plan and core leadership
catalyst, lead- team are in place, lead-
ble and contribute as much as possible?

ership power, ers assume that the
• Are we really ready to go on this jour-
changes will just be-
reach alignment, gin to occur naturally.

flexibility and That might be a con-
venient assumption
• How would the envisioned organiza-
resiliency simply in the short run, but
tion really look as it operates day to day?
I understand the strategic vision and the
it has no relation to
won’t match the organizational reality.
need for the journey – I understand the
design required for the organization to be
requirements The problem is one of
successful at the end of the journey – now
limited leadership pow-
of the jour- er and reach. Without the
help me understand what that will look
like for me and my unit on a daily basis.
ney” catalyst, leadership power,
reach, alignment, flexibili-
ty and resiliency simply won’t
match the requirements of the jour- The catalyst is also an essential “reality tester”
ney. The journey may ultimately be successful for leadership. If the organization is not ready,
without the catalyst, but at much greater cost they must have the courage to “speak truth to
than necessary. power” and challenge senior leadership to do
what is necessary to get people engaged and
Catalysts engage and connect people and pre- prepared for the journey.
pare them for the journey. They assess the or-
ganizations change readiness and capability and
guide the organization’s efforts to be in the best
shape possible for the conduct of the journey.


Catalysts also help people add the details to the
Architect’s organizational design to really make
the design operational. They help people an-
swer the questions:

Strategy #7: Expanding the Leadership Web
Bring people into the web of leaders with clear roles, expectations, and support.

Catalysts are about reach, power and sustainability. The catalyst engages larger num-
bers of people, integrates them into the web of leaders and followers, and prepares
them to play a powerful, productive part in the journey. Catalysts connect peo-
ple, often across boundaries, and help them clarify the roles they can play as
leaders and/or followers. The initial question for people regarding groups
and teams is, “Am I a member? Am I in or out?” That is also a key ques-
tion in a change process, and the catalyst brings as many people “in” as are about
reach, power
A major goal of the catalyst is to help the groups and individuals in the
leadership web to become as “self-managing” as possible. Particularly
and sustain-
in large changes involving many people, this becomes a critical capability. ability”
Without sufficient self-management capability the maintenance demands on
leadership become too onerous and exert an increasing drag on the effort. It
also robs the organization of needed new leadership.

Catalysts may work with individuals, they may work with existing groups and teams or they
might develop new groups and teams.
Expanding the Web Leadership Tools

• Expand map – potential members and parts of the organization covered
• Map of roles

Strategy #8: Operational Detail for the Vision
Add the operational detail to the vision and organization design.

Catalysts guide people in adding operational detail to the architect’s organization design, mak-
ing it relevant to their parts of the organization. Through this process people can truly start to
become the authors of the experience on an appropriate scope and scale and take on more
ownership and responsibility. Catalysts help people create daily operational reality for groups,
departments and whole organizations. They can take this one step further and guide people in
personalizing the vision – creating a vision of how an individual will self-manage and play a
leadership role. This can be an essential step in helping people get out of a victim role and into
a leadership (or effective follower) role.

This is the third level of vision (“operationalizing” the strategic vision and the organization de-
sign) and it creates the desired reality on a day-to-day basis in the different parts of the organi-
zation. It is often overlooked, but that comes at a cost. The catalyst has to be disciplined enough
to drive the visioning out into the organization at an operational level.

Leadership Tools for Operationalizing the Vision

• Map of units and potential leadership
• Guidelines for units

Strategy #9: Preparing the People & the Organization
Conduct a “change readiness and capability study” and prepare
the organization and its people for the journey.

Catalysts are also “truth tellers” in determining how ready the organization and its
people are for the journey and whether they have the capabilities required for
success. Readiness may relate to the organization’s history of success or fail-
“Catalysts ure in leading change, the amount of focused attention and energy available,
often have the number of changes still underway as the new ones begin, the level of
trust in current leadership, the level of engagement of employees and the
to have the general degree of esprit de corps.
discipline and Understanding the level of change readiness and capability can provide
courage to leadership with a great deal of guidance in preventing or dealing with
major sources of resistance in change. A lack of readiness or capability
hold leader- may require a significant investment, but that investment will almost cer-
ship’s feet to tainly be much smaller than the cost of dealing with resistance throughout
the change. Catalysts often have to have the discipline and courage to hold
the fire” leadership’s feet to the fire and not let them go off on a journey for which the
organization or its people aren’t ready. In a crisis the organization might have to
go without being ready, but then the catalyst must really hustle to engage and pre-
pare people on the fly.

Readiness Tools for the Catalyst

• Map of readiness (degree of readiness and factors in play)
• Map of high leverage actions to prepare people

now on to THE GUIDE

• Committed to carefully and strategically
involving others at the operational level
• Good at recruitment and “onboarding”
people to their roles
• Understands the vision and organization
design and can guide adding the opera-
tional details
• Has the courage to see and speak the
truth re: impact of the change and peo-
ple’s readiness
• Has the ability to challenge leaders and
followers about the emerging reality
and what’s required
• Knows the requirements of the journey
and how to prepare people for it
• Skilled in facilitating operational and
individual visions and their integration

LEADERSHIP ROLE #4: Guides also ensure that individuals and groups
hold themselves accountable, which includes
THE GUIDE celebrating interim accomplishments, learning
from the experience, delivering positive and
negative consequences, and taking affirming or
The guide is the role without which we would be
corrective actions.
lost or, at best, radically slowed in the journey.
Guides ensure that accurate information flows
Guides essentially challenge and support
outward to people in a timely manner and that
people to be as self-managing as possible,
the leadership web receives feedback in order
whether as individuals or groups.
to understand the reality of the journey.
Guides understand resistance and
manage it as an asset. They know
“Guides what people will experience and
under- can help them deal with end-
ings and the sense of “inbe-
stand tweenity” that characterizes
resistance much of the journey.
and man- Guides connect or reconnect
age it as people to one another, to the
organization, to the purpose
an asset” and value of the journey, and
to their significance and contri-
bution. A critical part of the guide’s
role is keeping the value and the poten-
tial benefits of the journey before people, par-
ticularly when that perspective begins to dim
under the pressure of the tests encountered.

Strategy #10: Communication
Develop and maintain systems for communicating out and back in (feedback),
as well as for promoting dialogue among people.

The guide puts structures and processes in place to assure that the right kind of communica-
tion happens throughout the journey and monitors their success. One of the challenges for the
guide is to know when to shift the balance of communications. In the beginning communica-
tions will probably be 70% out to people from the core leadership group and 30% in from people
in the form of feedback.

As the journey progresses, however, the communication balance needs to shift and may
actually reverse itself at times. It becomes increasingly important for the leadership web to get
feedback in order to truly understand the reality they are trying to manage. Without adequate
feedback assumptions, rumors and misinformation become too powerful.

Establishing a dialogue among people is one of the guide’s most important responsibilities. Di-
alogue, particularly across boundaries, is essential to people’s ability to self-manage and to stay
aligned on the journey. Without effective dialogue, people—both individually and in groups—
become isolated, which inhibits learning and makes sustained aligned action nearly impossible.
When people feel disconnected their willingness to stretch and take risks is also dramatically
decreased, making it much harder to sustain and renew energy. In most changes it is critical to
have effective communications across boundaries in order to stay on track and cope with the
demands of the change. That does not normally happen, so the guide must engineer and sup-
port it.

Communication Tools For the Guide

• Plan elements for communicating out
• Map for feedback sources and methods
• Map for connecting people in dialogue

Strategy #11: Letting Go and Dealing with “Inbetweenity”
Guide people in letting go of what must be left behind and dealing with
the challenges of the in-between state

Many changes fail, even with exceptional planning and preparation, because the critical mass
of people do not really cross the threshold and leave the known world. They fake it or
“Al- they keep one foot rooted in the old ways and explore a bit with the other. They
do not really let go of the old, so there is little hope of discovering, let alone
though mastering, the new ways required.
letting go
There is a stunning number of things that may require some letting go
usually claims and they can add up to be a daunting challenge. People may need to
most of the at- let go of relationships, styles of management, positions, habits, aspects
of identity, access to information or resources, physical space, career
tention, guides paths, etc. This can be particularly daunting if people do not have accu-
rate information about what they will really need to let go of.
also help people
Although letting go usually claims most of the attention, guides also
identify what help people identify what to hold onto. It is the balance of letting go and
to hold onto” holding on that creates the full picture for people. Ironically, the identifi-
cation of areas of continuity (what to hold on to) often helps people let go in
the areas requiring letting go.

“Inbetweenity” is characterized by uncertainty and confusion alternating with clarity. Peri-
ods of disorientation or disconnection are interspersed with times when new discoveries sud-
denly fall into place and there is excitement with the new picture.

“Inbetweenity” is also characterized by a set of “dynamic tensions” that consistently present
people with choices. Those choices can range from author vs. victim and engaged vs. withdrawn
to actively contributing vs. passively or actively resisting. The choices often have to be made
many times, not just once. Part of the role of the guide is to help people resolve these “dynamic
tensions” in ways that are healthy for them and healthy for the journey.

Letting Go and “Inbetweenity” Tools for the Guide

• Map and Methods for Guiding “Letting Go”
• Maps and Methods For Dealing With “Inbetweenity”

Strategy #12: Accountability
Create processes and an environment that promote Dynamic Accountability
in order to maintain direction and energy.

The challenge for the guide is to redefine “accountability” so that it is a productive and creative
tool, not one that inspires fear or anxiety. The guide often executes this strategy with the builder.
Dynamic Accountability, an approach designed to overcome accountability’s bad reputation, has
four main components:

1 Celebrate interim accomplishments and worthy efforts (even if not completely successful).
This element keeps the focus on successes and supports the willingness to take risks. It
helps build a sense of confidence and esprit de corps.

2 Learn from the experience. We really do learn the way once a major journey begins, and
learning is usually overlooked (despite lip service). This can easily lead to an increase in
ignorance and assumptions and a decrease in willingness to look for the truth. A focus on
learning keeps the effort vital and flexible and builds the knowledge, wisdom, and excite-
ment required.

3 Turn the learning into new capabilities and dedicated action. We must constantly recali-
brate our plans and actions based on what we learn. This builds confidence and a sense of
influence and power.

4 Deliver positive and negative consequences. Consequences can be positive or negative.
Either way they are strong reinforcers of actions when they are clear and follow closely on
the elements of performance being evaluated. Some tough actions may need to be taken.
Positive reinforcement, however, usually turns out to be more powerful than negative con-

The focus of this form of accountability may be on the specific goals and objectives of the
plan for the journey, particularly interim goals. It may be on how closely the conduct of the
journey matches the original picture of the journey (including leadership’s commitment). It may
also be on how well each leadership role is being played or how the web is developing.

NOTE: One critical, and often overlooked, aspect of the guide’s role in accountability is to seek
out and remove barriers, such as systems that don’t fit the new ways, decisions that aren’t being
made and are holding people up, or a lack of focus or resources dedicated to the journey. These
barriers can undermine the best intentions and actions of people, making them easily disillu-
sioned and discouraged.

Accountability Tools for the Guide

• Dynamic Accountability Process
• Accountability Map

now on to THE BUILDER

• Emotionally competent
• Knows what to expect on a journey and
what it requires of people
• Has the courage to see, hear, and speak
the truth of the experience of people
• Has the ability to continue to commu-
nicate out to people throughout the
• Encourages people throughout the
journey in letting go of old ways and
dealing with “inbetweenity”
• Can maintain or renew people’s energy
and the direction of the changes
• Can engage people in groups to
self-manage through the change
• Holds people and the organization ac-
countable for progress – informally and
• Challenges the system to remove bar-

LEADERSHIP ROLE #5: verted and their confidence can
be undermined. Unexpected “The
THE BUILDER barriers and pitfalls can
surprise and deter peo-
The builder is an underappreciated role and,
ple. These are natural to build
consequently, one that requires bold and per-
occurrences and must
be expected. The capability is
sistent leadership. The builder helps the orga-
nization develop the capabilities required for
builder, like a spider,often the single
continually expands
success. Discovery and mastery are decep-
tively difficult challenges, and it is very easy,
and mends the web most damaging
under day-to-day pressure, to fail to attend to
of leaders and fol-
lowers through the
leadership mis-
the progress of the leadership web in meeting
these challenges. In fact, the failure to build
building of capabilities step in major
capability is often the single most damaging
that are required for the
journey and for success in
leadership misstep in major change.
the desired state.
Builders must, consequently, overcome peo-
ple’s natural fears about leaving a known
world, in which they are competent, to ven-
ture forth on a challenging journey to another
world, in which their current capabilities may
not be as valued or effective. Such fears are
some of the greatest sources of resistance and
the most frequently overlooked or underesti-
mated. Because of this phenomenon, build-
ers must play their role in a highly visible way.

The web of leaders and followers will inevita-
bly fray as the journey progresses. Because of
the challenges of building new capabilities and
the length of most journeys, people’s energy
can run down, their focus can waver or be di-

Strategy #13: Leadership Maintenance
Expand and maintain the web of leaders and build the capabilities
required for the journey.

A critical focus of the builder must be on the extension and maintenance of the web of leaders
and followers created to see the journey through. Not only does the web need to be extended
throughout the organization as the journey progresses, it also needs to be maintained, or it will
inevitably (and often rapidly) decline. There is a natural tendency to build the leadership web
and then conveniently assume it will grow and perform without maintenance. This is one of the
strategies that requires strong leadership discipline to accomplish.

Relationships among leaders can fray. New relationships will need to be created. Leaders
will get tired and discouraged at times and will need renewal. Followership is such an over-
looked asset that it needs to be highlighted and supported consistently. New challenges will
arise and will require leadership focus. As some goals are achieved leadership (and follower-
ship) can be redeployed. New leaders will need training and support. Maintaining the web of
leaders and followers is not an easy task.

Leadership Maintenance Tools

• Map of Leadership Well-Being and renewal
• New Leader Pipeline and Preparation

Strategy #14: Muscle Building
Identify and build the individual, group, and organizational capabilities
required in the desired state.

“Why Therequired
builder must also keep the organization’s focus on building the capabilities
for success at the end of the journey, even in the face of unrelenting
should demands to run the business.

people com- A simple, but sobering, question for those leading the journey is: “Why
mit to the should people commit to the journey if they will be lacking in what
they need for success when they get to the envisioned desired state?”
journey if they Builders acknowledge the organization’s commitment and ensure that
will be lacking in people are confident that they will have the required competencies.
Those competencies may be on individual, group, or organizational
what they need levels.

for success when The key for the builder is to make sure that the development of these
they get to the capabilities is seen as a disciplined approach to how work will actually
be done, not simply as a training effort. Organizations often give lip
envisioned de- service to building capability. The role of the builder is to make sure the
organization follows through. This strategy is focused on the organization
sired state?” and its commitment to building capability. The next strategy is the comple-
mentary one that focuses on challenging and supporting individuals to master
the new ways.

The builder asks three questions to guide the commitment to capability building. These
three questions ensure that commitments are made where they will make the greatest

• “What must the organization be good at?” Does it need to be good at sales, marketing,
design, engineering, production? Does it need to be good at performance management, cost
management, servant leadership, recruitment, employee engagement. There are a lot of possi-
ble organizational competencies and the builder must zero in on those that are most important.
And then see that they are pursued.

• “What are the group or team capabilities that we must develop?” Do we have the requisite
capability at the executive team level? Where are the gaps at other levels that must be closed?
What are the cross-boundary team capabilities that we must build?

• “What are the individual competencies that we must develop to match what will be required
in the desired future we are pursuing?” This can be an intimidating question because there may
be a lot of capabilities that need to be developed at the individual level across the organization.

These three critical questions illustrate the value of the builder role as well as its difficulty. It is
a challenge to identify the capabilities to be built. It is a challenge get the commitment of re-
sources that will be required. It is also a challenge to follow through and hold the course until
the capabilities are built.

Muscle Building Tools For the Builder

• Map of required Capabilities
• Planning Template For development

Strategy #15: Mastery
Guide people in the process of discovery and the extended challenges of mastery.

Warning! The challenges of mastery are almost completely ignored in most of the literature on
change leadership. This can lead to a fatal oversight. Many well-designed change initiatives nev-
er see sustainable results because the required mastery is not developed. Mastering new ways
is tough. Builders have to confront that natural phenomenon if the leadership web is going to
succeed in achieving results that are really sustainable.

Mastering new ways requires increased awareness and attention as well as
increased effort, often over an extended period of time. Not only do early
efforts at mastery often feel awkward, there is also often a great deal of un- “Often the
certainty about whether we’re doing it right, simply because we have little
or no experience on which to rely. Builders help people stay committed
builder must
during these periods. challenge un-
realistic ex-
They also help people persevere when progress seems to have reached a
plateau, even despite consistent effort. These plateaus are very dangerous pectations of
for the journey because it is easy for people to become tired, disillusioned, senior man-
or discouraged. Builders support people in “holding the course” and reach-
ing the next spurt of improvement in performance and understanding. They
help people understand that such plateaus are natural and usually unavoidable
and that persistence is the only way to get past them.

Builders also help people understand the natural “performance dips” that happen during the
mastery process and work to minimize their severity and duration. Often the builder must chal-
lenge unrealistic expectations of senior management. Senior management usually expects per-
formance and outcomes to increase soon after the change process begins (even if they don’t
admit it). The builder is not an apologist for dips in performance, which are natural, but helps
management deal with them.

Mastery Tools for the Builder

• Overview of “Learning to Love the Plateau”
• Map For Tracking Mastery Development

• Champion of capability building (can
make the business case and challenge
for attention and resources)
• Attends to building capability on the
individual, group and systemic levels
• Constantly maintains the strength of
the leadership web
• Knows the path to mastery and can
coach people through the plateaus and
• Supports risk taking and experimenta-
tion (protects people in doing so)
• Has the knowledge of multiple meth-
ods of building capability (training, job/
assignment design, coaching/mentor-
ing, etc.)

ACT III: THE with each other, including the nature of relation-
ships, beliefs, attitudes, habits, confidence and
LEADERSHIP ROLE esprit de corps, and general health.

IN COMPLETION The reactions of others to the organization’s
changes must also be gauged and managed.
Significant planned change brings significant
“ripple effects” that can affect a surprising num-
WHY THIS ROLE? WHAT ARE WE ber of stakeholders beyond the immediate fo-
TRYING TO DO? cus of the change. Because that impact can be
significant, others may not respond positively
Because, as Yogi Berra allegedly said, “It ain’t to what the organization’s changes implicitly
over till it’s over.” require of them to fit with or complement the
planned change.
There is a tremendous pull on leaders at the
end of a journey to disengage too soon or lose Failing to learn from the experience or failing to
focus and discipline. People are tired, other turn that learning into increased leadership ca-
demands for change have come on the scene pability is another common trap. There is rarely
and are competing for attention and there is a time to learn when there is a demand to “do”.
natural tendency for people to “just One of the key leadership disciplines is to take
want it to be over.” Not only can the time to learn even when there is a cost of
“There a lot of opportunity be missed, not doing something else. Doing may be king,
is a pe- but a great deal can be lost
at this point in the jour-
but it is a poor king when learning does not ac-
company it.
riod of ney. The integrator has to
time when stand strong in the face
the changes of these forces.

look like they This is the role that must
are solid, but esintegrate all of the piec-
that have been dis-
are in reality covered, invented, found,
very vulner- maintained
reworked, recovered, or
on the jour-
able” ney. They must somehow be
brought together so that they
“fit” and work together and they
must be preserved so that they do not
slide back or dissipate. There is a period of time
when the changes look like they are solid, but
are in reality very vulnerable.

The “things” of the organization must be aligned
so that the strategies, structure, systems and
processes, technologies and physical plant, and
policies and procedures reinforce each other
rather than conflict.
The people of the organization must be attuned



There are some major efforts required to assure that the completion of the journey is successful.
Strong leadership in completion of a journey is characterized by leaders who:

1 Dramatically increase the number of people
who are actively engaged in the web of lead-
ers and followers - and maintain that web
8 Conduct formal and informal efforts to renew
energy, confidence, and a sense of positive
urgency as well as help people recover from
consistently. the inevitable mistakes, disappointments, de-
tours, and injuries.
Implement a process of adding See
the opera-
tional details to the organization “Characteristics
design –
illustrating the daily reality to be Leadership
9 Provide support and rewards for risk taking,
experimentation, and living with questions
Completion” on
(“operationalizing” the vision and organiza- (sometimes for an extended period of time).
tion design).

Assess the readiness of the organization for
the journey and prepare people to be suc-
10 Conduct formal and informal efforts to es-
tablish or reestablish relationships of people
to other people, their groups, the organiza-
cessful in leaving their known world and suc- tion, ways of working, value and belief bas-
ceeding on the path- change capability and es, etc. – keep people connected.

Conduct frequent and informal accountabil-

4 Implement communication systems where
relevant information moves out to people, in
from people (feedback), and among people
ity checks. These are characterized by (a)
the celebration of interim achievements and
worthy efforts, (b) learning from the experi-
(dialogue about the experience and the trans- ence to date, and (c) taking affirming and/or
fer of learning). corrective actions.

5 Ensure that individual, group and organiza-
tional capabilities are rapidly built for success
in the envisioned desired state at the end of
12 Identify and remove systemic barriers, in-
cluding the realignment of the organization,
making key decisions on which others rely,
the journey. and prioritizing the allocation of resources.

6 Challenge and support people in dealing di-
rectly with the impact of the change, particu-
larly endings, letting go, and loss.

7 Challenge and support people in holding
the course in the efforts required to master
new ways as well tolerating the initial awk-
wardness, doubts, and dips in performance
that precede higher levels of performance.
now on to ACT III

LEADERSHIP ROLE #6: They help the organization weather the “win-
THE INTEGRATOR dow of vulnerability,” the period when chang-
es that often seem solid can slip away. In-
tegrators are responsible for deepening,
Integrators provide the perseverance, disci-
aligning, and preserving the changes, dealing
pline, and drive needed to complete the jour-
with the “ripple effects” of the changes, and
ney. They ensure that the leadership web isn’t
making sure that key learnings are turned into
too distracted by the other changes that have
increased capabilities for the organization. The
probably already started as well as those on
role of the integrator obviously starts early in
the horizon. They bring the discipline to finish
the journey, but it becomes increasingly im-
portant as the journey nears completion.

Strategy #16: Managing the “Ripple Effect”
Assess the “ripple effects” of the changes, including the likely reactions
of others, and determine a range of responses.

Significant change in a unit or organization creates significant “ripple effects,” with consequenc-
es for others. These others may be individuals, units, or organizations – even communities. Be-
cause a change in one group usually requires some degree of complementary change in others,
the integrator must assume that this ripple effect could be a major source of resistance as the
journey progresses. It will almost certainly threaten the sustainability of the desired change.

Integrators act as protectors of change by tracking how these “ripple effects” might be affect-
ing others and determining how to manage people’s potential reactions. This can range from
problem solving with those affected to moderating the changes in order to diminish a negative
impact. Partnering with those affected to manage the “ripple effects” can dramatically diminish
resistance. The integrators must be bold and disciplined because this is another strategy that is
very often overlooked.

Tools for Managing the Ripple Effect

• Impact Map
• Strategy Map by Stakeholder

Strategy #17: Aligning the Organization
Align the “things” of the organization to institutionalize the changes.

Because organizations are so interdependent, it is inevitable that they will be thrown out of
alignment to some degree as change begins to happen. The organization’s strategies, structure,

systems, processes, technologies, physical plant, and policies and procedures must rein-
force one another rather than conflict. That doesn’t happen without dedicated attention.
The “things” of the organization are similar to wheels on a truck; if they aren’t aligned they work
against one another and wear out quickly.

As with the attention to the “ripple effects”, the challenge for the integrator is to ensure that
leadership does not let up and lose focus too soon. At the end of the journey people are usually
tired and ready to either rest or pursue the next exciting initiative.

Tools for Alignment

• Alignment Impact Map
• Alignment Strategy Map

Strategy #18: Attuning the People
Ensure that the people of the organization have internalized the changes
and the organization takes advantage of increased capabilities.

The integrator must also make sure that the people of the organization are attuned with the
changes. The elements to be attuned can include the nature of relationships, beliefs, attitudes,
habits, confidence, esprit de corps, and general health. A major pitfall in this stage is
failing to realize that while “things” can be aligned relatively quickly, people be-
come attuned over an extended period of time. These challenges are similar
in the sense of aligning and attuning, but they are very different in the ex- “The
tended timeframe that is required. integrator
Finally, the integrator must bring leadership discipline to the process- must bring
es of learning from the experience and translating that learning into leadership disci-
increased capability for individuals, groups and the organization as a
whole. Too many organizations are so busy getting through the experi- pline to the pro-
ence and on to the next thing that they fail to learn from the experience. cesses of learn-
Learning and the translating of that learning into capability is important
throughout the journey – from beginning to end. ing from the
Any increase in the organization’s change capability and resilience will posi-
tion it well for the inevitable next set of changes. In a similar vein, new lead-
ers have probably emerged as the change has progressed and they need to be
acknowledged and deployed.

Integrators remember that a journey of change always has two goals. One is to reach the
envisioned desired state and the other is to build the organization’s change capability and
resilience (its ability to sustain performance). If the journey has been led well, the organization
should see a dramatic increase in management and leadership capabilities as well as people’s
willingness and ability to self-manage.

Tools for Attuning the Organization

• Stakeholder Attunement Matrix
• Learning Map
• New Leader Matrix

• Has the discipline to “hold the course”
all the way to the end and not let up
• Has the courage to assess the “ripple
effect” of the changes – on the organi-
zation(s) and on people
• Invests time and attention in designing
ways to mitigate the impact of the “rip-
ple effect” on key stakeholders
• Understands that it takes a long time to
attune people to the changes and does
not let up on embedding new ways of
thinking, beliefs, habits, relationships,
• Has the courage and discipline to en-
sure that the “things” of the organiza-
tions (structure, roles, policies, process-
es, etc.) are fully aligned
• Identifies the new leaders that have
emerged and deploys those talents
• Ensures that the organization learns
from the change experience to deepen
its change capability and resilience

DIFFERENCES 1 need for a more extensive web of leaders
and followers.

ORGANIZATIONAL 2 More diversity. There is usually much more
diversity among the people that are in-
volved, ranging from socio-economic situ-
AND COMMUNITY ation and religion to degree of interest and
involvement in the community and experi-

Although the heroic journey applies as well to 3 Ripple effects. Because communities are
so complex and their systems, institutions,
and neighborhoods are so interdependent,
community change as it does to organizational
change, there are some very significant natural the ripple effects of change and the need for
differences in how the leadership roles are like- coordinated/integrated efforts is extraordi-
ly to play out. Because every change, whether nary.
community or organizational, is going to vary in
its nature, there is no way to simply say, “Orga-
nizational change looks like this and community 4 Beliefs and interests. Groups’ interests and
beliefs will naturally be in conflict in many
areas, thus increasing tension, challenging
change looks like this, so this is how we play the
leadership roles in each setting.” If only it were trust levels, inhibiting cooperation, length-
that simple. ening the change process, and making it
more difficult to achieve a critical mass of
It is possible, however, to reflect on the differ- support.

ences and determine in general the implications
for the crafting of the leadership roles and strat- Multiple commitments and priorities. Most
egies. This is particularly important for leaders people are involved in one or more orga-
of organizations who are also in leadership roles nizations or corporations, which demand
in communities. The roles and strategies may time and attention and usually offer change
be the same, but they will probably look very opportunities that are more contained and
different. Trying to lead a journey of change in of shorter duration (they are not as over-
a community with the same assumptions that whelming). Community change is also eas-
hold in organizations is usually an unhappy ex- ier to avoid and often “takes a back seat” to
perience. Many factors are the same, but the corporate changes, which can easily draw
ones that are different make all the difference if people’s attention and effort.

6 Courage and complexity. Effectively com-
mitting to significant community change re-
quires acknowledging the need for change
BE MORE DIFFICULT and confronting the anxiety, fear, or despair
that will inevitably accompany the aware-
There are many reasons why community change ness of the magnitude and complexity of
is so much more difficult than organizational community needs.
change and some are listed below:

1 More people. In most cases many more
people are involved. As the number of peo-
7 Perceived capabilities vs. challenge. Di-
rectly confronting the need for community
change also brings up questions about indi-
ple increases, the demands on most of the vidual, group, and community capabilities
leadership strategies increase as does the to achieve needed change, the question of

power vs powerlessness. The perceived charac- an extraordinary sense of possibility, capa-
teristics and capabilities often do not appear to bility, confidence, and excitement.
match the power of the challenges.

8 Leadership turnover. There is often so
much movement in and out of communities
4 A note on leadership and followership.
Particularly in community change the line
between leadership and followership is
or in and out of key positions and roles, that blurred and many people will find them-
continuity of development and the ability to selves in both of those roles. Fortunately
“hold the course” is crippled, often through there is increasing attention being paid to
the loss of painstakingly developed rela- “followership” and its relationship to “lead-
tionships. ership”. For our purposes here it is import-
ant to note that one cannot be considered
POTENTIAL ADVANTAGES IN without the other; neither can be consid-
ered outside of the particular situation or
LEADING COMMUNITY CHANGE context in which they are being exercised;
and there is little difference in the character-
Advantages for leaders of community change. istics required of leaders and followers on a
Along with these complicating factors there are heroic journey.
some elements on the other side of the balance
that can add to the power in service of commu-
nity change. Some of these elements, it will be
clear, have a “down side” reflected in the list
above, for instance strength of values and di-
versity of values. These elements are not miss-
ing in organizational change, but they are usual-
ly not present in the same degree.

1 Perceived value. For many people the val-
ue of community transcends the value of
specific organizations or companies. When
engaged their commitment is often deeper,
more resilient, and more enduring.

2 Forgiving endurance and resilience. Com-
munities can usually endure a lack of effec-
tive change longer than organizations, al-
though a high price is paid. That provides
more time for people to step forward and
more opportunities for new efforts follow-
ing unsuccessful or partially successful ef-
forts. Most successful community change
is, in fact, built on a history of unsuccessful
or partially successful initiatives.

3 Aligned diversity. The variety of communi-
ty changes provides more opportunities for
people of diverse capabilities, styles, and
interests to become involved. The effective
involvement of such diversity can provide

Make this one of the times you said yes to the
heroic journey and went forth to do what need-
ed to be done – in your organization or commu-

ÿ Reflect on the leadership roles and
strategies and their purpose
ÿ Reflect on how you and your team(s) will
play these roles and implement the
strategies – at whatever scale is
appropriate (department to organization
or community of any size)
ÿ Use the worksheets for the strategies and
make up your own to fit your situation


ÿ Be worthy of your followers
ÿ Establish healthy contracts among leaders
and followers for leading and following
on the journey


ÿ Be a worthy follower (see the profiles of
effective followers)
ÿ Challenge and support those in leadership


ÿ Confidently
ÿ With a sense of your significance and
impact on others
ÿ Strategically
ÿ Artfully
ÿ Within a web of leaders and followers
ÿ Drawing on the four forms of courage