Volume 63, June 2006: The Rebel Within

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

This is a monthly electronic magazine for anyone who wants to be a better leader, coach, facilitator, or simply, to tune up their people skills. It is a complimentary publication, devoted to the next evolution of Quality Thinking.

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2006 ISSN # 1545-8873

“Persuasion calls for an ability to listen well enough to know what matters to people.” — Drs. Kathleen K. Reardon, Kevin J. Reardon, & Alan J. Rowe

“[The only way to effect change is to be] a vicious parasite in the intestine of the enemy.” — Abbie Hoffman

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

“While a business entrepreneur may thrive on competition and profit, a social entrepreneur has a different motivation: a commitment to leading through inclusiveness of all actors in society and a dedication to changing the systems and patterns of society.” — Ashoka Fellows in India, April 2000


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications

What’s Hot in Leadership

  • Guiding the advancement of change in organizations.
  • Promoting change that serves to better the organizational citizens and the community they serve.
  • Advancing change by small wins.
  • Pushing back on convention to create opportunities for others.
  • Leading forums that are inclusive.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

Many of us in leadership positions today are the socially conscious radicals of the 60’s and 70’s. Stanford faculty member Debra Meyerson (2004) has a new term to describe us – “the tempered radical.” She offers four tips for rocking the boat without tipping it over:

1. Build relationships within and without the organization with people who share your marginalized identity.

2. Develop the discipline to manage heated emotions to fuel your agenda.

3. Frame your agenda in language that has legitimacy to those in power.

4. Create connections with other people with similar values, beliefs and identities – pulling together the weak signals to make a strong signal – as Margaret Mead suggests (above).

Frequently Asked Questions

“What do I do with the resistance to change that I encounter?”
Honor it, surface it, explore it (you might learn something). But in the main, spend your efforts leading the innovators and early adopters. As Robert Kennedy said, 20% will be against anything. Those 20 % may not make the change – but most could, if helped. For certain, you do not push against the resistance, because you will heighten its resolve and intensity. It is possible that what appears to be resistance is really fear, anxiety, or insecurity about change. All change is both loss and gain. Resolve the me issues quickly. Resistance is energy, which can be mobilized in a number of ways. Practice your skills at dialogue and incorporation, always keeping your cool under fire. Have the confidence in change to encourage dissension and the wisdom to learn from it.
“How many people does it take to induce social change?”
A few and not too many. The help of a handful of allies can advance small actions toward a greater goal. Small wins produce a feeling of success and build momentum. I have read that it takes only 20% of an organization to form a critical mass sufficient to produce a revolution. And anyway, you can only achieve real buy-in, one by one. As Abbie Hoffman alerted us, change is far more effective from the inside of an organization, than from without. See the debate between internal and external change agents (below).
“We have many great plans that end up on the shelf. And visioning that fills flipchart pages. But nothing significant happens, as we get lost in the day-to-day operations. Ideas?”
It takes logical leadership to plan and inspirational leadership to envision, but strategic leadership to oversee the whole change process. Reardon et al. (1998) added two additional stages to John Kotter’s (1996) model of leading change (i.e., Establishing Direction, Aligning People, and Motivating and Inspiring them). The Reardon model built on to Kotter’s the phases of Launching and Maintaining. “Launching” takes the place of introducing change in dribs and drabs. This is the stage where the change effort formally commences. Here a commanding style is useful, to point the way. “Maintaining” is the more often overlooked stage of the change process. It requires overseeing, guiding people to continue their efforts and providing them with the motivation and assistance to do so. As Jack Welch says, you must find a way to engage the mind of every single employee. Change is often undermined by failure to involve and value the efforts of others. “Idea champions” are useful here, as they keep the change effort ever present in the conversation.


Many free articles on social change in Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Tutorial on stages of change and leadership style: Leadership Styles for the Five Stages of Radical Change.

Bob Knowling’s Change Manual.

Keyzines on related topics: Change, Organizational Culture,Personal Change, and Transformation.

Useful Websites & Newsletters

Socially Conscious Employees Can Effect Corporate Change.

What is a Social Entrepreneur?.

Concerns unique to internal vs. external change agents: Change Agents: The good, the bad and the ugly.

Key Associates offers

  • Leadership Development
  • Change Management Facilitation
  • On-Site Training Seminars
  • Planning Retreats



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