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Change-Friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance


Most attempts to change fall flat.

Around the world, countless change efforts are underway in all kinds of organizations,spearheaded by leaders with good intentions. Despite the good intentions, the majority of these programs will not succeed. Why?

In this radical new book, practitioner Rodger Dean Duncan shows that humanness, approachability, and friendliness are necessary but often overlooked elements of ...

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Change-Friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance

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Most attempts to change fall flat.

Around the world, countless change efforts are underway in all kinds of organizations,spearheaded by leaders with good intentions. Despite the good intentions, the majority of these programs will not succeed. Why?

In this radical new book, practitioner Rodger Dean Duncan shows that humanness, approachability, and friendliness are necessary but often overlooked elements of making change successful.

Change cannot be achieved by a press release, slogan, or announcement. Effective organizational change requires the active, mindful participation of the people affected by the change. Leaders must learn how to bring their entire team on board with changes and ensure they are invested in the process as well as in the outcome.

The Friendly Factor is not just a play on words. It's the very foundation for effectively engaging people's heads, hearts, and hopes. The Change-Friendly framework is based on timeless principles that are tried and true in even the toughest situations. Using this framework will enable you to create effective, lasting change in your organization.

Q&A with Rodger Dean Duncan

What's so friendly about change?

Often not much. And that's the point.

Change squeezes us out of our comfort zone. The resulting discomfort produces stress. Stress often manifests itself as resistance. Resistance in the face of change is like having one foot on the brake while the other foot presses the gas pedal.

We live in a moment of history where change is so fast-paced that we begin to see the present only when it's already disappearing. Change is not just faster. It's also exploding in quantity and magnitude. Experts say we can expect more change in our lifetimes than has occurred since the beginning of civilization more than ten millennia ago. Trying to keep up with change can feel like getting trapped on a runaway treadmill. Trying to manage it can be even harder.

Then what's the solution?

In a nutshell, we must create an environment that's receptive to change. This requires what I call change-friendly leadership. It's not leadership by title and it's certainly not leadership by command and control. It's leadership that genuinely engages the heads, hearts, and hopes of the people whose genuine buy in is critical to the success of the change.

In this context, friendly is not intended to connote coddling or laissez faire. And it's certainly not intended to imply a warm and fuzzy, hands-off approach to serious issues. Change-friendly leadership is a behavior protocol or framework. It produces successful change by acknowledging the sentiments and leveraging the individual gifts of people affected by the change, regardless of their organizational roles.

What does the change-friendly framework look like in actual practice?

The Change-Friendly Leadership Model is quite simple. At the center are four sets of very specific behaviors. I call these the Four Ts: Think-Friendly, Talk-Friendly, Trust-Friendly, and Team-Friendly.

Think-Friendly behaviors include exercising curiosity, asking smart questions, and challenging your own conclusions.

Being Talk-Friendly involves dialogue skills, listening to learn and understand rather than to rebut and overpower.

A person is Trust-Friendly by consistently earning trust and extending trust. This involves carefully avoiding common trust-busting behaviors that undermine credibility and influence.

Being Team-Friendly means working with people in ways that foster genuine collaboration. It's much more than superficial team work. It's synergy on steroids, and it requires a special openness to other people's contributions.

Aren't those behaviors just common sense?

As Will Rogers noted, common sense isn't all that common. In fact, many people unwittingly sabotage their own change efforts. In their eagerness to accelerate change or performance improvement they rely on slogans, posters, high testosterone pep rallies and other motivational approaches.

Are you saying that motivational efforts don't work?

Personal motivation is wonderful. But it comes from within, not from without. You can educate people, you can entertain them, you can provide a good business case for action. But people must decide for themselves whether they buy in to the change you advocate. You can use carrots and sticks to get people to comply. But real change requires more than mere compliance. It requires commitment. That's where change-friendly leadership makes all the difference.

So where's the roadblock?

The problem with many change tools is that they are schizo-frantic. They involve too many moving parts and make too much noise. They disrupt everything in sight. As weapons of mass distraction, they sometimes scare more than inspire, confuse more than comfort. They can be self-fulfilling prophecies, producing exactly the turmoil that many people associate with change.

This is not to suggest that change is easy or that change processes must be geared to the kindergartner. It's just to say that when change is needed, most people prefer the path to be as straightforward as possible. No academic jargon. No convoluted models. No jumping through unnecessary hoops. Just something that works. Plain and simple, thank you very much.

Managing change does not mean a narrow, lock-step approach that controls all the variables. It means setting boundaries around the chaos, challenging the status quo, and providing a deliberate and proactive process for getting from point A to point B and beyond.

That's where the Change-Friendly protocol can help?

Exactly. Rather than merely responding to change as it hits us in the face, the smartest and most sure way to reaching our desired future state is to take deliberate and mindful leadership over the dynamics associated with the change. This must include:

· Assessing the organizational, personal, and cultural barriers to change, transition, and implementation.

· Identifying work-life disruptions that are the consequences of strategic change.

· Developing strategies and tactics to minimize anticipated barriers to change.

· Developing strategies and tactics to leverage key strengths to increase readiness and capacity for change.

What's the bottom line?

The bottom line is to accelerate the achievement of critical business goals with fewer resources and fewer human casualties along the way. In short, we must save time, save money, and help our people avoid burnout. That requires engaging their heads, hearts, and hopes.

As I suggested earlier, it's not so much that people resist change per se. It's that we resist the stress that change often produces.

People can learn to welcome change, but the primary emphasis must be on the human dynamics of change. Effective change is not just about spreadsheets and project charts. It's about winning the genuine commitment of real people. You can rent a person's back and hands, but you must earn his head and heart.

For change to succeed, the emotional and behavioral aspects must be addressed as thoroughly as the operations issues. Change is inherently and inescapably an emotional human process.

This is not touchy-feely stuff. It's smart business. Besides, aligning people with purpose is a hallmark of great leadership.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A truly splendid book . . . highly relevant, tremendously insightful, remarkably accessible. Rodger deeply understands the change process and how difficult it is for people and organizations to manage change. This profound understanding gives him an insightful perspective into how to solve it, i.e., 'how to engage people's heads, hearts, and hopes.' Rodger has created a user-friendly implementation guide to help buffer the shock wave that often accompanies change. — from the Foreword by Stephen M. R. Covey, New York Times bestselling author of The Speed of Trust

With wisdom and insight, Change-Friendly Leadership beautifully brings home the simple truth that people are as important as results. — Ken Blanchard coauthor of The One Minute Manager(R) and Great Leaders Grow

I'm impressed by the utter simplicity and brilliance of Change-Friendly Leadership. To borrow a well-worn political phrase, 'It's the relationships, stupid!' The practices taught by Dr. Duncan can turn any organization around and create happier and more successful people at all levels. — Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Radio host, author of twelve New YorkTimes bestsellers

As a leader in the corporate world for over three decades, I find myself drawn to books which offer enlightened thinking on leadership that stand up to scrutiny from a practitioner's point of view and can be put to work on Monday morning. This is one of those books. I highly recommend it. — Douglas R. Conant, Retired President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company and New York Times bestselling author of TouchPoints

Few people are as qualified as Rodger Dean Duncan to take a reader by the hand and chart a wise, proven, and practical course to profound change. Change-Friendly Leadership distills decades of experience into an engaging education in how to influence a small team or a global enterprise toward lasting change. — Joseph Grenny, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Crucial Conversations

Many books have changed my mind, but few have changed my habits. I cannot think of a single individual, company, or organization that wouldn't benefit from Change-Friendly Leadership and its powerful calls to action. If it doesn't inspire you to seek permanent, sustainable change, you weren't paying attention. It's that good. — Jason F. Wright, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today bestselling author

Rodger Dean Duncan is a masterful writer and storyteller! I love the way he uses stories to illustrate the key principles and practices he advocates. His life's work has been engaging people to help them achieve organizational success. Change-Friendly Leadership provides the recipe. — Dr. Brent D. Peterson, bestselling coauthor of Fake Work

Nothing is more fun to read than a practical book written by an active consultant who's willing to pass along great ideas that work. That's what Change-Friendly Leadership delivers. Not lots of theory, but many ideas you can and will actually use. — Jack Zenger, CEO of Zenger Folkman and coauthor of the bestselling The Extraordinary Leader and The Extraordinary Coach

Change-Friendly Leadership is a must read for anyone who wishes to obtain and maintain a competitive edge in their business. The change-friendly protocol provides the practical framework for engaging people's 'heads, hearts, and hopes' in a deliberate and strategic way that can only lead to ultimate success. — Hyrum Smith, Co-Founder, FranklinCovey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780985213503
  • Publisher: Maxwell Stone Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 492,308
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan is widely known for his work in organizational effectiveness and the strategic management of change. His clients range from cabinet officers in two White House administrations to top executives in many corporations. His Internet column reaches opt-in business subscribers in more than 130 countries. Bestselling author Stephen M. R. Covey calls Duncan's work on leadership brilliantly insightful and inspiring; profound, yet user friendly; visionary, yet highly practical.

New York Times bestselling author Stephen M.R. Covey wrote The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything and Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World. The former CEO of the Covey Leadership Center and co-founder and CEO of CoveyLink Worldwide is a sought-after and compelling keynote speaker, author, and advisor on trust, leadership, ethics, and high performance.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xvii

Preface xxi

Section 1 What's the Big Deal About Change? 1

Chapter 1 The High Cost of Belly Flop: A Case for Engagement 4

Chapter 2 Change-Friendly: Its Rhyme and Reason 18

Chapter 3 You Make a Lousy Somebody Else: Authentic Leadership 34

Section 1 Bonus Points 51

Section 2 The Power of Four Ts 53

Chapter 4 Think-Friendly: See the World Through a Fresh Lens 56

Chapter 5 Talk-Friendly: Put Your Best Voice Forward 84

Chapter 6 Trust-Friendly: Make Trust First to Make It Last 118

Chapter 7 Team-Friendly: Finding Strength in Unity 146

Section 2 Bonus Points 179

Section 3 Change Plain and Simple 181

Chapter 8 Step 1: Validate the Journey 184

Chapter 9 Step 2: Scan for Speed Bumps 196

Chapter 10 Step 3: Chart the Course 208

Chapter 11 Step 4: Build a Coalition 224

Chapter 12 Step 5: Ford the Streams 238

Chapter 13 Step 6: Stay on Message 252

Chapter 14 Step 7: Mind the Gap 266

Section 3 Bonus Points 274

Afterword 275

Acknowledgments 277

About the Author 279

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