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Leading Change Vs. "Leading" Status Quo

Change and Status quo can be as far apart from each other as a butterfly is from a caterpillar ...

Or ... as an is from a K-Mart ...
Or ... as a BMW is from a Hyundai ...
Or ... as laying a runway is from paving a cow path ...
Or ... as a solution is from a product ...
Or ... as experience is from service ...
Or ... as customer success is from customer satisfaction ...
Or ... as a distinct brand-you is from a me-too employee ...

Change can be triggered by innovation. Change can happen in corporate culture. And so on. There is a leader "behind" every Change. If you consider the corporate world, people like Lou Gerstner, Michael Dell, and Jack Welch may come to mind. Actually, there are scores of other lesser-known and unknown leaders that make change happen in their organizations.

Here's my question: What are some differences between those who lead change and those who "lead" the Status quo? Oh yes, we know about the staggering percentage of Change initiatives that fail. Let's, for the sake of this discussion, stick to successful Change initiatives and what it takes to lead them.


  1. There have been comments on this Question at the LinkedIn leadership/change/innovation Groups where I posted it. Not many attempted to list the characteristics of each type. Most commenters felt that only those that make Change happen could be termed Leaders and that all others should be termed Managers. One commenter suggested that those that only manage the status quo but still succeed should be termed Lucky! So there you go ... in terms of categories you have:

    1. Leaders
    2. Managers
    3. Lucky!



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