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Leading others through Change

I’ve long thought that I love change. I loved the uncertainity of it all. I’ve loved having to prove myself all over again because my circumstnces have changed. I like change for the good, and I’ve liked change that initially felt like it was for the bad. It’s probably put best to say that “I’m comfortable with change.”

Oh how alone I am. Leading others through change is not as easy a proposition. As uncertain as things can become after a big change in your organization, it’s worth taking the time to do these three things to lead your team through change:

1. Explain. But only what you are allowed to. Face it, there are elements that have led to change in your organization; and oftentimes you can’t go there. Fighting the temptation to gossip is a hard battle, but as the leader you have no other choice if you expect others to follow you. Explain what you can, lay out the change as it relates to you as the leader and them as the one being affected by it.

2. Clarify. There are going to be times that when you lead through change, that you will be asked to relate to your team in a way you’ve never had to before. Just go ahead and clarify why it feels unfamiliar to them. Avoid throwing anyone under the bus, but as much as you can walk your team through what is, what is not, and what will be because of this change.

3. Support. When you’re leading others through change you are going to have to do some hand-holding. When you’ve explained the change and clarified what it means, then all that’s left is to simply support the change. Ultimately as the leader, you will be the one held responsible for your team buying into the change that’s happening. You are responsible for the support both up to your leader, and down to those you lead.


Note: One thing to note about organizational change. Change always opens the door for more change. When things are moving around like icebergs breaking apart in the ocean, it forces people to reevaluate. Sometimes thats you as the leader and sometimes that is the people you lead. Leave some room that the change your leading through is the change you’ve been needing as confirmation. It could be just what you’ve been waiting for.


Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.

1 Comment

  1. Daniel · May 28, 2012

    Pastor Jonathan, thank you for your comments and insights on this and many other topics. I was wondering if you could help me with something. Our church is beginning to have a NextGen ministry. I was wondering if you could give me some thoughts or ideas about how we might get this started or some things that you may have learned in being in NextGen ministry. Any thoughts would be appreciated. If you can, my email is pastordaniel@wavnaz.net. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your thoughts. Have a great day.