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Practice 3: Leaders Should Demonstrate the Behaviors That Align With the Proposed Change

6 October, 2015 - 11:50

Culture change starts and gains momentum with changed behavior on the part of the leaders of that organization or organizational unit. Nothing kills a change initiative faster than leaders who espouse certain behaviors and attitudes, but demonstrate different ones. For example, if a leader announces the importance of controlling costs more carefully, but then he or she arranges for a lavish executive retreat or decorates his or her office in excessive ways, the rest of the organization takes notice. Hence, leaders need to exercise care in the behaviors they exhibit.  1

In addition, leaders need to be careful as to behaviors that they tolerate. If results are being stressed and their subordinate does not deliver results, then there needs to be demonstrable consequences. This applies to both meeting the numbers and behaving consistently with the organization’s values. Indeed, it has been observed that if a nonperformer gets high enough in the organizational hierarchy and is not held accountable, that person can literally destroy the organization.  2