If you w ant to lead a change, you better start with a quiver full of behavioral and goal-directed arrows designed to hit your target. Important note: Some of these will return like a boomerang and when they hit, they'll sting.
Changes are anxiety-producing and scary for a lot of us. We like our cozy comfort zones. When someone messes with it, we find ways to strike back or take our toys and go home. Successful leaders know this and move forward, knowing full well that the "noise" around them is natural. They can "take the heat."
What To Do When The Heat Is On
1. Learn to recognize your triggers. Understand that when someone challenges you, your brain will dump adrenaline. That means you'll start to feel a burst of energy that will cause an emotional responses. What's yours? Some people become angry, others find that their voices go up a few pitches, and some of us start to burn up energy by rocking back and forth or, if seated, shifting around. Know your response and pause (count to ten silently) until the adrenaline rush starts to wear off.
2. Expect difficulty and even trouble. My first huge "change" project was on Day 1 of the AT&T divestiture. We spent up to 50% of our time figuring out what we were learning and then fixing things. Organizational change is always a work in progress.
3. Being a leader is risky business. Be prepared to explain over and over again, in different ways, what you are doing and why you are doing it. Then, when you think you've explained it enough, go back out and explain it again. There will be people who want to see you fail, people who "would do it differently and better," and a host of other detractors. If you believe that what you are doing is the right thing, then stay the course. Listen to what concerns people, acknowledge those concerns, and explain one more time why the "new thing" will be better. Always: attack positions, never people.
How will you lead your change today?