As examiner for my PhD I was very fortunate to have George Gallup. Dr Gallup was the inventor of market research and universally admired founder of The Gallup Poll at Princeton.
He wrote about why leaders have an in-built logical reluctance towards change in The Miracle Ahead (Harper & Row NY 1964):
“Change cannot be brought about easily by leaders, except in those situations in which the changes advocated do not disturb the present relationships. In fact, it is the leaders who typically become the most bitter and the most effective foes of change.
The public must take the initiative and assume responsibility for progress in the affairs of man. The public must force change upon its leaders who command more respect today than perhaps they deserve. The leader is expert in his or her small world as it presently exists, not expert in the world as it might exist.
Although the leader plays an important part in modern society, it is not realistic to expect him or her to advocate change. This is the surest way for that leader to lose his or her status. The hope of the future rests with the citizen also known as, the customer.
To be effective the citizen/customer must be well-informed, and she or he must discover better ways of making better use of her own great capacities and those of her friends. Citizens or customers cannot expect their leaders to give them much help in their upward march”.
QUESTION: In your own experience, as you look around at the leaders your life, do you find many agents of change or are most simply protectors of the status quo? Post your comment.