Change Leaders Don’t Need Titles

Bigger Picture

Change is vital to growth and expansion.  It gives organizations a competitive edge and gives employees a spark of energy.  We must have change in order to grow.

Whether you may like it or not, change is a normal part of any successful business.

With or Without You

Why not help lead that change?  Change will happen with or without you.  And if the rate of change exceeds your own rate of change, you’re going to have some real problems.

You don’t need a title to be a change leader.  In fact, you don’t need a title to be any kind of leader.

It just takes special people – who want to lead.

Grabbing the Reins

To have success in a merger, for instance, requires flexibility and adaptability.  And if you can grab the reins and act as a change leader yourself, you’ll be personally helping in leading the organization to great achievements.

With change normally comes resistance.  In order to lead change you need to know just what kinds of resistance there are.   Here are just a few, listed in “Individual Resistance from Employees to Organizational Change”, by Dr. Chuang,Yuh-Shy:

  • Personal loss.  Right or wrong, people are afraid they’ll lose something, particularly job security and pay.
  • Loss of pride and satisfaction.  A concern about ending up with jobs that no longer require their abilities and skills.
  • Reduced responsibility.  Jobs will be reduced to menial tasks without responsibility.
  • Loss of status.  Loss of job titles, responsibility, or authority.

But on the other hand, there are probably more positive things to think about than negative.  Yuh-Shy lists things such as:

  • Personal gain.  New job titles, more responsibility, more money, and more authority.
  • More security.  Greater job security because of the need for increased skills.  Possible salary increases.
  • More status/prestige.  Possibly a new title or new office.
  • More responsibility or authority.  Maybe new responsibility or a new supervisor who assigns more responsibility than the previous one did.  This could lead to future promotions.

People Love Change

You know, if you really think about it, people actually love change.  People constantly pursue promotions and new job responsibilities; buy personal development books and start their own businesses.  They change careers, jobs, and even organizations – all in the name of change.

People love change – they just hate having to be forced to change.

You can help guide change no matter where you fall in the organizational chart.  Being a change leader can put you in the position of being someone who has greater career potential.   Christina Tangora Schlachter and Terry Hildebrandt, authors of “Leading Business Change For Dummies” say that you can begin to spark positive change by doing one simple thing . . . becoming proactive.

How to Become Proactive

Learn to live with uncertainty

There will usually be uncertainty during change.  Maybe managers haven’t answered all your questions – because not all of the details have been worked out.  They may also have legal reasons for not releasing information.

So sometimes it’s in your best interest to just roll with it. However, if you feel that uncertainty is disturbing your work area, ask questions and let your manager know the impact.

Change what YOU can change: Yourself

Leaders can sometimes make things more confusing than not.  If you’re not in a position to formally influence the change, take the opportunity to change your own attitude and behaviors.

Influence what you CAN’T change: Others

Even if you’re not the one in charge, you can still influence the direction of the change.  And your position of being “one of the guys” could even give your opinions a boost with your coworkers.

Cultivating an atmosphere of openness among your coworkers will help you influence change, because knowing others’ motivations and interests will help you to explain how the changes will meet their needs.

Help others cope with change

Even if you’re excited about change, not everyone is.  Some may find it to be extremely tough, feeling confused or angry.  You can help them make the transition easier by being on the lookout for signals that someone needs help coping – absenteeism, depression, argumentative.

BELIEVE in the change and speak up

 As soon as change starts happening, start talking it up – how great it will be.  Talk about past accomplishments in order to recapture your coworkers’ emotions, excitement, and energy.

Igniting Change

Whether you’re the most junior employee in your organization or the CEO, showing YOUR enthusiasm for change is a benefit.

Change comes from ones heart.

Remember that a sense of opportunity and possibilities for the future of the company is contagious.  If you see a change that needs to happen, bring it up – don’t just sit back and wait to be told what to do.  Be proactive!

When you show that you’re committed to making your organization succeed, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to be the one running the show sooner than later.

Are you ready to lead?  Will you be an influencer?  What can you do, today, to grab the reins and become a change leader? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Andy Uskavitch
Andy Uskavitch is Leadership Development at Florida Blood Services
He develops and facilitates Leadership, Motivation & Teambuilding Seminars
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog |  (727) 568-5433

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3 responses to “Change Leaders Don’t Need Titles

  1. Andy, thank you for this post. I thrive with change, and I like how you put emphasis on the positive motivation that exists when there are new possibilities. There is far too much emphasis on “resistance” to change and the fear of imagined doom and gloom. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, but we develop capacity and resistance when we stretch beyond our comfort levels. We discover who we are when we “grab the reins.”


  2. “People love change”. What a powerful statement. There’s nothing positive about being attached to the status quo – and yet we’re all attached to it and thus resistant to the positive change that awaits us.
    Great article, thanks! Tim


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