Things change. What leaders do is to create a world that would not have existed without them. Change is unavoidable. Changing some part of the world from the way it is to the way it ought to be, is the work of leadership.
Michelangelo said he saw the finished sculpture in the raw slab of marble. He task was to release it, to change it from what it was to what he envisioned. To bring about something that never existed before. That's what leaders do.
Much of all this talk about change seems to suggest simply rearranging things. Leaders do not simply rearrange things. Leaders create a future out of their vision of it. Consider these thoughts:
- Managers change things. Leaders compose the future.
- What people want is to be relevant. Changing them does not make them relevant. Being a part of making the future does.
- The leader's relevance and influence lie there.
Another thought. Change is often painful. People will not like you for making changes that affect them personally. People may enjoy talking about change. But when it comes right down to it, they would prefer the status quo. That is why, in any contest between change and the status quo, bet on the status quo.
Leaders are change agents. It is their cause they serve, not the sentiments of the day.