One of the jobs of the leader is to think long-term to develop strategies to affect change in the future. The leader may discuss plans with a senior circle and have many, many meetings about the idea long before it is able to become public. Because the leader spends so much time thinking about the new, she becomes accustomed to the idea and it no longer feels new to her, and therein lies the potential trap.

Unless a conscious effort is made otherwise, leaders often forget that there is a lag between when they first started thinking about an idea and when their staff or wider audience learns of the plan. The change-makers at Alia Innovations have depicted this gap in the Leaders Lag chart, illustrating that the leader is always ahead of the staff in thinking about change.

The leader has the advantage of having an extended interval of time during which they have become comfortable with the new and, to be successful, the leader must allow that adjustment period for others. The next time you are trying to impact a change, take the time gap into account. You need to synchronize in order to swim.

Thanks, Amy!

Thanks, Colleen for use of the picture!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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