I have been considering the challenges that a leader could face whilst leading change agents (by change agents I mean individuals who are catalysts for change), and I have to say – I am intrigued by this concept.
Leading through change is certainly not a new concept but leading change agents, as I see it, is something different.
I would expect a leader of a change agent to be faced with issues of protecting the individual (from resistance), supporting the individual to assert authority (whilst not having position power), and steering the individual toward change which fits with the strategic direction of the unit. None of these issues are new but I have found little of their application to change agents.
I am aware of ‘maverick leadership’ and the concept of mavericks, and do see similarities between mavericks and change agents (thinking outside of the lines). But, mavericks are often referred to as ‘rule breakers’, and this is perhaps an unfair label to brand change agents with.
As the concept of change agents continues then the practice surrounding it (such as leadership) might become a focus (I for one am keen to research this area – I would also be interested in working with someone to do this).
Happy to open up this deliberation to others: Are there difficulties in leading change agents? Should managers feel obliged to protect change agents? How does a leader safeguard their change agents?
- Change Agents (elissite.wordpress.com)
- Being a Catalyst for Change (majinjxo.wordpress.com)
- The Year of the Change Agent (darmano.typepad.com)