One-on-One with Jenni Catron on Change Leadership, Part 1

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“One of the qualities that I believe distinguishes effective leaders is the ability to see further than others see.”

Ed: Jenni, you’ve led change in a lot of different settings including churches, and now your organization continues to help people with change. Tell us a little bit about how you have thought about change in general, and how you apply that in churches specifically.

Jenni: Change is a complicated component of leadership. The reality is, many leaders who enter into situations of change do so without really having the skills or coaching to know how to do it. The big thing for me in change management is rooted in the emotional intelligence of the leader. Leaders engaging in change not only need to understand themselves, but the people they’re leading.

One of the qualities that I believe distinguishes effective leaders is the ability to see further than others see. Leaders have the insight of where God is leading and what change is needed to arrive at the place of God’s prompting.

It is easy for leaders to become impatient when leading through change because they can see the destination and understand the steps needed to get there, but they forget to graciously lead people at a pace they can stand. That’s not to say that leaders shouldn’t challenge and stretch their people or prep their people for discomfort at times. But emotional intelligence is important as it gives leaders the discernment to graciously bring people along rather than grudgingly dragging them.

Ed: How do you coach people through change?

Jenni: To lead people through change, it’s important for leaders to know where they are, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. This allows leaders to map out a plan for change. The map is important as it provides people with a clear understanding of both where they are going …

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