The Change Within

“One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.” – Robert E. Quinn

The word “change” is a popular word when it comes to leadership discussions.
  • We hear about changing an organization.
  • We hear about helping change followers.
  • We hear about taking a group of people through a change process.
It seems the one place we don’t use the word “change” enough is when we’re speaking of a leader themselves.
We don’t talk near enough about the constant and consistent change that must happen inside of a leader.
  • As leaders, we must be continually changing and adjusting to the culture, our followers, and the people around us.
  • Leaders must consistently be open to the change of ideas, concepts, and theories.
  • Leaders must be willing to change their own thoughts and opinions in order to keep up with rapidly changing ideas, technologies, and programs.
Perhaps, the “change” must occur within the leader before it can effectively happen in the organization.
Your thoughts?


  1. Jonathan

    While I agree with your big idea, that change is inevitable and leaders must know how to deal with this, I think it's important to be careful with the idea of changing theories and concepts. I am all for change, believe me, so long as it is healthy change. And I agree with John C. Maxwell when he says "Growth does not happen without change." But the question one must ask is what kind of growth I you want?

    I heard something from a speaker at an Acts 29 Bootcamp that has stuck with me ever since: "What you feed your church in the beginning is what you will have to sustain them with." This is so true. I know of a pastor who didn't even have a website for his church for over a year. This was intentional because his purpose was to instill in his people the value of discipleship. That way the members were forced to go out and tell others about the church, and they didn't cater to peoples comfort, but instead preached the Gospel. This was certainly against the "times" of church planting, but it was a major win.

    I guess it all depends on what the leaders are wanting to instill in their (God's) people. Just remember, the path you take generates expectation in the people. What do you want them to expect?

  2. Jonathan Pearson

    @Jonathan… I completely agree with your statement. People to begin to have expectations. We can never just hop from one idea or philosophy to another. We must, however, be willing to adapt ours and adopt new ones as time goes by, technology changes, and the culture around us changes. I think we're on the same page here (do you?). Thanks for discussing. :-)

  3. Jonathan

    @Jonathan: Yes. But let me clarify. There are some church planters I've ran into that has not done the "norm" and have not "changed" for the time and technology. Actually, they didn't embrace technology at all! The reason is because he wanted to instill the value of genuine discipleship. And he did this for the first year of his plant! Oddly enough, it grew rather large within that year. So I think for the most part you are right on brother! There are some exceptions, though. These exceptions are rare, as most people will not even come to listen to someone unless they get free coffee and the butts patted with baby powder… hehe.

    Check out Artie Davis' article

  4. JenniLee

    I am a firm believer that conforming to the rules doesn't transform you. As leaders, it's being transformed from the inside out and being transparent with people that will in turn help them begin the process their selves. Other wise it's just following the example of stand up, clap, pass the plate and walk out feeling the same as you did when you walked in.

  5. Jonathan Pearson

    @JenniLee… Absolutely. Outward modification doesn't mean inward transformation. We're never done changing and growing. Thanks for commenting!


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