Change the Way You Change!: 5 Roles of Leaders Who Accelerate Business Performance

Change the Way You Change!: 5 Roles of Leaders Who Accelerate Business Performance

by R. Kendall Lyman, Tony C. Daloisio


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Accelerate Leadership and Get Results

Great leaders of change positively impact business performance by fundamentally working differently than most leaders in three ways. First, they change how they think and talk about change. Second, they change their approach to change by engaging both individuals and the organization. And third, they elevate what they do as a leader and the roles they play.

In Change the Way You Change!, authors R. Kendall Lyman and Tony C. Daloisio pull from ten years of research and working with individuals, teams, and organizations to convincingly illustrate how changing a team or a business requires changing both inside-out (thoughts and beliefs) and outside-in (structure and system) approaches. Each chapter provides an in-depth discussion of one of the five roles of great change leaders: focus, align, engage, lead, and sustain. And the main points of discussion in each chapter are bolstered by quotations, examples, exercises, and summaries.

The only way to survive as a leader in the twenty-first century is to make change part of your leadership agenda. And that means making it a priority and getting good at it. Whether readers are beginners or experts, this book will help them change the way they change to accelerate their leadership and get results. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626344174
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication date: 06/20/2017
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

R. Kendall Lyman is a founding principal of The Highlands Group, a firm specializing in strategy, organizational change, and leadership development. He helps leaders around the world to navigate change, improve employee engagement, and transform culture. 
Kendall lives with his wife and three children in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area. He holds a MBA from Brigham Young University.

Tony C. Daloisio, Ph.D., is a principal of The Highlands Group, and founder/CEO of the Charter Oak Consulting Group (one of Inc. magazine’s fastest growing privately held firms; see Tony earned a BA and Ph.D. in Psychology and Education from the University of Connecticut, and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Fairfield University. 
Residing in both Atlanta, GA, and Washington Depot, CT, Tony is married to Teresa Hargrave. They have two children and two grandchildren. 

Read an Excerpt

Change the Way You Change!

5 Roles of Leaders Who Accelerate Business Performance

By R. Kendall Lyman, Tony C. Daloisio

Greenleaf Book Group Press

Copyright © 2017 R. Kendall Lyman and Tony C. Daloisio
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62634-417-4



"There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders by all those who could profit by the new order. This lukewarmness arises from the incredulity of mankind who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experiences with it."

— Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, and writer

On a blustery November evening many years ago, Gay Hendricks (a psychologist and writer) was obliged to go to a party he didn't want to attend. You know the kind — where you are expected to plaster a smile on your face, meet people you're not interested in, and make small talk about subjects that seemingly have no real purpose. In his own words he said, "We'd been to the party about an hour, and I was dutifully shuffling around from one guest to another. I'd just about given up trying to be convivial when I was introduced to a tall fellow named Ed. His restless fidgeting suggested that he was having about as much fun as I was. I mentioned this to him, and he endeared himself to me by saying, 'I loathe parties — can't stand the small talk.'" So the two of them changed the conversation and entered into what they called "Big Talk." Gay Hendricks said the conversation "changed my life." He went on to write a book called Five Wishes that further explored his conversation that night.

In our experience working with leaders, we've found the conversations (and consequently the actions) about change to be of the same quality as those at an obligatory party — small talk. Very few leaders are having Big Talk conversations about change that are transforming lives and impacting results. Very few are engaging in conversations that address questions such as these:

• How effective are we at delivering results?

• What do we need to do to increase our performance capacity?

• What needs to happen that is not happening now?

• What pain are we experiencing now in the business?

• What is it costing the organization to have this problem?

• If we were to start with a clean slate, what would we do differently?

• How effective are we as leaders? How do we know?

• In our organizational culture, what is the level of commitment to change and improve performance?

• How effective are we at having leadership conversations that enable us to creatively solve business challenges?

• What, if anything, might prevent the organization from successfully implementing change?

Instead of grappling with Big Talk questions like those listed, we usually see leaders cautiously creep along the following continuum:

Postpone --> Passively Approach --> Piecemeal

Postpone: Leaders who postpone change have multiple reasons. They may be in their role for only a short time, so why start something they can't finish? Or they might rationalize that because the volume of change is so great, it's better to change later — it's almost too much to deal with now. So they go on a change diet where they cut out anything that might upset the status quo.

Passively Approach: Leaders who passively approach change never quite get down to the heart of it. They circle round, stand at the edges, maybe let a little sink in, but they don't embrace it for themselves or champion it for others. These leaders talk the good change talk, but there is no action. Their communication lands in the ears of employees like small talk because no big change ever occurs.

Piecemeal: Leaders who use a piecemeal approach to change work on a system here or a process there, but they fail to realize the holistic nature of change. They try out a lot of small improvements, but those changes typically yield small results. They rarely tackle the tough work of transforming the business, improving the customer experience, or aligning priorities.

Instead of these small-change approaches, the only sustainable approach is one that is proactive. Proactive leaders understand that to create long-term, sustainable improvements they must step into wholesale change — approaching it from all angles. The proactive approach is not only a calculated move to improve results, it is also a way to engage in Big Talk conversations with key stakeholders — an important component of generating ideas for better results.

Where are you on the continuum of change? Are you talking big but playing small? Or are you engaging others in the difficult questions about change and then proactively executing the work that needs to be done? General Eric Shinseki (Ret.), US Army Chief of Staff, said, "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less." Today, anything but the proactive approach will get you swept away by the "whitewater" of change to irrelevance. At cocktail parties, you can afford small talk. At the office, Big Talk is the only real conversation that will keep you relevant. And to remain relevant, you must grow, adapt, and change.


If you have led a change initiative and were to do it again, what would you emphasize and what would you avoid? That's the journey that we have been on for the last twenty-five years — figuring out what works and what doesn't in the change process by helping leaders who struggle with the constancy of change in business environments that have grown increasingly complex. Here is what we've found:

1. Lackluster Results: Leaders and employees alike are disappointed and disillusioned by change and less than satisfied with results. If, as studies have shown, only 30% of change efforts are a success, it's no wonder contemplating change breeds frustration and an unwillingness to keep trying. To many, it feels like leaders aren't learning from failures and don't know how to repeat successes in the future.

2. Lack of Leadership: Change initiatives continue to lack the buy-in from employees and support from cross-functional team leaders. Too often the change approach doesn't quite fit the situation, or there is a feeling of "here we go again." In a 2014 study that asked, What has been the single greatest contributor to the success of your change management program? active and visible sponsorship was listed as number one. (In fact, it was cited over three times more frequently than the next contributor.) The study found that effective leaders of change were almost 3.5 times more likely to meet or exceed project objectives than were their ineffective counterparts. Great change leaders actively guide their organizations through transitions while enabling individuals and teams to engage in the changes.

3. Incomplete Approach: Too many leaders have an incomplete picture of how change happens. Current change literature and practitioners advocate a one-dimensional approach to change that doesn't yield long-term results. One approach focuses on changing individuals to enable them to change so that they can change their environment. Another approach works on organizational processes and systems with the intent of fostering a change in individual behavior. But a one-dimensional approach doesn't lead to sustainable change. Either employees will break themselves against business practices that haven't changed, or the lack of aligned systems will confuse employee priorities. For change to stick, it must deal with emotions and employee transitions and improve the effectiveness of how the business is run. Sustainable change only happens when individual, team, and organizational transformations happen concurrently.

4. Success Breeds Success: A team's confidence in its ability to lead change increases once they have seen and experienced a practical approach to change. If leaders want different results than they've had in the past, they have to do things differently than they've ever done them before. But most leaders (and teams) don't know what that looks like. The application of change principles, success practices, and tools doesn't have to follow a smorgasbord approach to change where leaders try "some of this and some of that" or use "one of these and one of those" best practices. These approaches fail because they don't apply ideas consistently or holistically. A practical approach to change is just that — something that can be applied easily at any level of the organization to enable change and improve performance. In one study, almost 50% of participants believed that at least half of the resistance to change they experienced could have been avoided with better change management.

5. Leadership Is Level Agnostic: Successful leaders of change enable everyone in the organization to be a champion of change. Hoping employees engage in change engenders an attitude of watching a parade vs. actively participating in it. Hope is not a strategy. The speed and complexity of change are increasing, and high-performing organizations don't have the time to deal with those who are not engaged and contributing (see Appendix 1: The Complexity and Speed of Change). All of us are part of a team that either runs something, makes something, or recommends something. In that role — whether we are the leader or a team member — we're all expected to make it better, improve how we work, or get better results. One finding indicated that 60% of the participants surveyed didn't feel their organization did an adequate job preparing managers to lead change. We have found that to be consistent across all levels within organizations. With change becoming more complicated, all employees must learn to champion it.


The first thing that great leaders of change do differently is change how they think and talk about change. They engage in Big Talk — conversations about the business that proactively explore sustainable improvements through wholesale change. This is what we discussed at the beginning of the chapter.

The second thing great leaders of change do is change their approach to change by engaging both individuals and the organization in change. In almost every book we read about change, the authors start with a premise about how change happens. And yet they rarely agree. Here are some examples:

• "Changing the system will change what people do. Changing what people do will not change the system."

• "You simply cannot get the results you need without getting into 'that personal stuff.' The results depend on getting people to stop doing things the old way and getting them to start doing things a new way. There is no way to do that impersonally."


Excerpted from Change the Way You Change! by R. Kendall Lyman, Tony C. Daloisio. Copyright © 2017 R. Kendall Lyman and Tony C. Daloisio. Excerpted by permission of Greenleaf Book Group Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Foreword xvii

Introduction 1

1 Change the Way You Change! 3

2 Accelerating Focus 23

3 Accelerating Alignment 67

4 Accelerating Engagement 105

5 Accelerating Leadership 139

6 Ensuring Sustainability 175

Conclusion-Accelerating Your Leadership of Change 205

Appendix 1 The Complexity and Speed of Change 219

Appendix 2 Client Example of Project Phases 223

Acknowledgments 227

Notes 229

About the Authors 235

Index 239

Customer Reviews