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  • MSS Article Review: “Change leader, change thyself”



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    January 12th, 2015

    “Anyone who pulls the organization in new directions must look inward as well as outward.”

    McKinsey Quarterly | by Nate Boaz and Erica Ariel Fox | March 2014

    Reviewed by: Dustin Jackson

    To be an effective leader of change requires knowledge, skills, and experience that many leaders do not possess. Unfortunately, there are leaders that will “fake it till they make it” often to the demise of the change initiative. This need to act as an expert during times of change, even though they are not prepared to do so, comes from the pressure on themselves or from others simply as a function of job title. It is of vital importance that organizational leaders and the change leader have the ability to look both inward and outward to create effective organizational change. This article by Boaz and Fox is an outstanding and holistic look at the two dimensions of looking inward that lead to self-understanding: developing profile awareness and developing state awareness.

    The article starts out with a fitting quote by Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” In addition to people not thinking of changing themselves, people don’t want to share the need for changing themselves because they don’t want to be seen as week or incapable. Or they simply do not know where to start on working on themselves.

    I wanted to share this article because I was personally intrigued by the organizational psychology, social psychology, and psychology insights that were shared and backed up by McKinsey’s research.  In the section titled “What is looking inward?” the authors explore the individual frame of reference that each of us has developed throughout our lives which operates as the basis for how we interpret the world and influences the decisions we make. This is a very important concept that anyone should understand and is the basis for how we start looking inward to change ourselves.

    In this article, Boaz and Fox discuss two levels of awareness: Profile awareness and State awareness. Profile awareness is defined in this article as a “combination of his or her habits of thought, emotions, hopes, and behavior in various circumstances.” State awareness is defined as “the recognition of what’s driving you at the moment you take action.” Both levels of awareness are important in developing the full potential of change leadership in any executive.

    This is an excellent article on being a change leader that everyone who aspires to lead change in their personal lives or in their organization should read.

    Dustin Jackson, M.Ed., is a Consulting Manager who is a highly accomplished business management consultant with 8 years of experience within many different levels of organizations. Dustin’s expertise and passion is in areas of change management, organizational readiness, communications, and training. To find out more about how MSS can help your organization in change management, contact us at info@msstech.com.

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    Cite this blog post:
    MLA: Jackson, Dustin. “MSS Article Review: ‘Change leader, change thyself.'” MSS. MSS. Blog. 08 April 2015.
    APA: D Jackson. (2015, Jan 12). MSS Article Review: ‘Change leader, change thyself.’