“One cannot always demand change, sometimes you must also bring change”. Change may be defined as letting go of the old and defying the normal. Leading change is a process and not a one-time activity. Certain circumstances may deem it necessary for change to be initiated.

However, one can decide to lead change and cause a difference. In certain instances, people can lead change effectively when they’ve been assigned to lead a group of people. Being a change agent can happen in any circumstance and not necessarily in a leadership position as many people are led to believe.        

To lead change, you must first acknowledge and understand the need and necessity for change.  Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to solving it, many a time we turn to forget our place in solving issues or bringing about change but rather look to the next person to make a step. Leading change starts with you as an individual and that is the first step in making a difference.

Communicating the need for change and involving other stakeholders will take you a step further to leading change. Your ability to clearly communicate why people need change is highly valuable in causing the necessary effect in your journey in bringing about something new.  Having other like-minded people on your team can give you the support and help you need to effectively lead change.

Developing the change plans is next. A plan brings order to all that is set out to be implemented and also states clear-cut goals that have to be achieved. What specific change do you want to implement? Brainstorm on the type of change and be specific on what you want to achieve. Which people do you want your change to affect?  

There’s no leading change without implementing the change you want to see. Whatever plans have been developed can now be implemented and you can effectively lead change. Most plans are stuck at this stage, we need to be more conscious of seeing through our plans to get results than just saying them. Leaders must be willing to implement the changing plans they carve out.

It is necessary to evaluate the progress of your accomplishments of leading change. Asking yourself questions like “am I happy with the change I made”, “did the change make a positive impact in the lives of other people” etc will help you to effectively evaluate your progress.

A clear look at great paradigm shifts in our world shows that most of those great shifts came as a result of individuals who got fed up with societal norms and carefully decided to lead change which has now become undeniable leadership staples in today’s world.

Leadership seminars, development of skills, effective books on leadership, having the right mentorship and guidance can help people in leading change. I am honored to be a part of the Central Leadership Program (CLP) in Ghana which has given me many opportunities to lead change in various aspects of my life, society, and the world at large.

The author, Baaba Nhyira Bondzi is a Fellow at The Central Leadership Program, Accra, Ghana.