The Leaders Checklist for Making a Change

November 11, 2009 - Mac Lake - Leadership

Change is difficult and requires skillful leadership to navigate it well.  Sometimes it feels like ninety percent of a leaders job is producing change while ninety percent of people don’t like change!  So when a leader enters into the dangerous waters of change he must move wisely.  As you consider the next change you’re going to initiate ask yourself the following questions…


  1. What problem am I trying to address by making a change?  (Do others see this same problem?)
  2. Have I taken the time to build relational equity so others will trust and follow my leadership through this change?
  3. Have I enlisted the support of key influencers in the organization to act as ambassadors for the change? 
  4. Have I listened to others opinions and understand the objections to the change?
  5. Have I made the purpose of the change clear?
  6. Have my team and  I prayed for wisdom and sought godly counsel regarding this potential change?
  7. Have I laid out a reasonable timetable for the change? (Often leaders try to make changes too fast)
  8. Do I have a plan for effectively communicating the change?

Are you about to make a major change?  What is your next step?

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

4 responses to The Leaders Checklist for Making a Change

  1. Change is good, but only when it is needed. I have known to many church leaders that force change and certainly this check list helps to prevent that. Thanks Mark.

    Change is certain. I learned a long time ago as a pastor and now a “pastor to pastors”, that sometimes needed changes are like mountains that appear impossible to move. But…there are two ways to move a mountain. All at once or one scoop at a time. I’ve only seen the second one work consistantly.

  2. i’m a senior pastor who has transitioned a 2500 member church after 30 years of an amazing “builder” pastor. so the last 3 years have been a crash course in change. some great resources:

    1) The First 90 Days (Michael Watkins) – a great primer on the type of change needed and the type of leadership and decision making for that change

    2) Managing Transitions (William Bridges) – the classic book on the emotions of transition… the reality that all change, transitions, and new beginnings actually begin with a death… people saying goodbye to the old before they can ever embrace the new beginnings

    3) The Heart of Change (John Kotter) – another great resource on the “steps” and process of change. also helpful is the field manual

    4) Our Iceberg is Melting (John Kotter) – a quick, fictional read about a group of penguins who are realizing the desperate need for change.

    all great resources that have really help me navigate and lead change “well” (I pray…)

    jonathan alexander
    senior pastor
    northshore baptist church
    bothell, wa

  3. I love the post. This is a great list for me as I take on a new children’s ministry position.
    I think #2 and #7 are going to be the biggest advantages for me going into the changes that will be coming for this ministry.
    I really look forward to applying these seven principles to my ministry.

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