Do Great Leaders Seek Small Improvements or Revolutionary Change?

You’ve seen it before, a new manager, new department head, new supervisor comes in and announces that “we’re going to turn this place upside down and change everything to make this place run better” (whatever those words mean). “If you can’t get behind the new way of doing things, then hit the road, your services are no longer needed.” You’ve also seen how this strategy usually works out … a number of old familiar faces leave; a number of new faces take their place; and, when things don’t run better right away, a new person comes in to replace the guy who came in and is now gone and a whole new wave of changes is coming to fix things and make them better.

Then, one day, a new leader arrives with a totally new philosophy; a philosophy that says, “let’s look and see what’s working well and then build on that foundation.” Gradually, small changes are implemented and integrated into the systems that were working efficiently and effectively. Each passing day and week witnesses a slow but steady improvement in both the systems and the employee morale.

It can be suggested here that this new leader is practicing the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen … a philosophy or practice that focuses on continuous and gradual improvement. It might also be suggested here that you are working with either a Great Leader or one who will soon be recognized as a Great Leader.

Great Leaders seldom advocate for revolution. Rather, they seek gradual and continuous improvement in all things … systems, practices, people. They seek out the very best in the people that they are privileged to lead and find ways to bring the best to the forefront where all can see it and benefit from it. It should come as no surprise, then, that Great Leaders achieve great results. They surround themselves with great people and provide those people with every opportunity to shine and be their very best. Through gradual changes, they achieve extraordinary (and often revolutionary) results.

Have you had the privilege of following a Great Leader who achieved extraordinary results through gradual and continuous change. Click “comment” and share that experience.

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at

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