5 Models For Leading Change: A Brief Introduction

5 Models For Leading Change: A Brief Introduction

In this article, we briefly introduce 5 models for leading change. Learn how to put them to use and become a more effective and rounded leader.


Large scale sustainable change needs strong—emotionally intelligent—leadership to succeed. In this article, we introduce five popular models for leading change. No single model is right. However, they all have something valuable to offer and can help us to navigate our way through complex organizational situations or circumstances.

Models for Leading Change

The models for leading change give us a lens through which we can see our personal situation in a new light. They help us to develop our mental map of the world—whether that concerns a situation, project team or organization—and create options for dealing with those difficult circumstances we inevitably encounter in our daily lives. Common themes from each model are:

  • self-awareness,
  • self-management,
  • social awareness, and
  • relationship management.

We find these attributes in well-rounded and effective change leaders. Those who are aware of their emotional make-up, are sensitive and inspiring to others, and can deal with day-to-day problems without getting distracted from the change they are introducing. But remember this: they are the map, not the territory.

Therefore, use them with care and use them to help interpret a particular leadership challenge or situation.

The models for leading change we are going to explore are:

  1. Leadership that Gets Results AKA Daniel Goleman’s Golf Clubs
  2. Situational Leadership (Hersey and Blanchard)
  3. Framework for Leadership (Fullan)
  4. Agreement and Certainty Matrix (Stacey)
  5. Transformational Leadership (Alimo-Metcalfe)

Leadership That Gets Results

Daniel Goleman popularized emotional intelligence and used insights from his work in this area to identify six styles of leadership.

Goleman imagines these styles as a set of golf clubs that scratch players—players who can complete a round of golf with a score of par—know instinctively when to use at the right time to get the best result.

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