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Change LeadershipEssay

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[. . .] " His reference is to the fact that Yoast sacrificed his own inauguration into the coach's hall of fame in order to help the Titans win the championship. Yoast, like Boone, has the potential to be a change leader who understood the principles of social justice that were transcendent to the smaller victory of winning at sports. Yet Yoast needed Boone more than vice-versa. Boone would have become a change leader on his own and without Yoast's assistance, whereas Yoast had been unable to lead the Titans to the winning season they had without Boone.

Change leadership is a complex concept that involves direct experience and knowledge, as well as insight, intelligence, and personality traits like confidence and humility. An active and engaging form of leadership, change leadership is not detached or laissez-faire in any way. Boone reflects an instinctual approach to change leadership, because he remains actively engaged with the team, continually coming up with new and creative approaches, and is also involved in the personal lives of the players in ways that go beyond the call of duty and toward a genuine understanding of what motivates each player or what lies behind each player's psychology. It is likely that most change leaders, like Boone, are naturals, born with the ability to motivate others and create deep and meaningful change in their communities. Amid the backdrop of social turmoil, Boone forged a path to harmony. He became impervious to setbacks, and encouraged his players to do the same. Boone discovered the broader social and cultural patterns that had been keeping players from working together or from recognizing their deeper purpose. Capitalizing on the social justice issue of racism, Boone was finally able to help the players realize that it was precisely their greatest weakness that would become their greatest strength. Racial integration became the calling card of the Titans, and their pride led them to victory even more than their playing.

Responding to conflict with a low level of anxiety and maintaining the emotional stability required to withstand turmoil, the change leader inspires trust and confidence in others (Clay, 2010). Interestingly, Boone had to heighten the anxiety of his players in order to lead them to a place of peace. He had to integrate them, force them to room with each other, and encourage intercultural communications. If Boone had allowed them to self-segregate as they had always done before, Boone would have failed in his job as coach as well as in his role as change leader. As a change leader, Boone demonstrates a predilection to taking action, and a resolute decisiveness. Not once does Boone appear weak, even when faced with adversity or setbacks. His openness to diversity, and especially his tolerance of high risk scenarios makes Boone a classic change leader too (Clay, 2010). When Boone accepts his job as coach, he knows that winning is a requisite for his career success. Rather than buckle under the pressure, he takes the risk of integrating the team instantly and potentially losing his job. Open to the radically different experience of coaching an integrated team, Boone leads the entire community toward greater tolerance and mutual respect.

Change leadership by definition entails operating within a broad framework of social justice and collective action. A change leader must always remain cognizant of the social, political, and environmental context impacting individual or incremental goals. In the business community, change leadership entails wielding the power of the business to solve social problems or to achieve goals like justice (Reach for Change, 2012). All change scenarios share this common rubric. In Remember the Titans, Coach Boone emerges as a quintessential change leader. Transforming a mediocre high school varsity football team into a championship winner was the proximate, or immediate goal of Boone's career change. However, Boone was more than just a coach. He was a change leader who harnessed the power of intrinsic motivation to encourage greatness from each individual member of the team.

References

Clay, B. (2010). Six characteristics of highly effective change leaders. Retrieved online: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2010/08/20/six-characteristics-of-highly-effective-change-leaders/

Fullan, M. (2011). Change Leader. John Wiley.

Reach for Change (2012). What is a change leader? Retrieved online: http://reachforchange.org/en/about-us/social-entreprenurship/

Yakin, B. (2000). Remember… [END OF PREVIEW]

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