Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, author of Not In God’s Name, writes about the rise in religious extremism and violence committed in the name of God. While being interviewed about his recent book, the show’s host asked him why he toned down some of his commentary from earlier writings on the subject. Rabbi Sacks replied, “I recognized I have to lead at a speed people can follow.” His comment caught my attention.
The idea of leading at a speed people can follow is an important one for all leaders and change agents to grasp and apply. In earlier writings, the Rabbi had proposed ideas that struck his audience as too provocative and controversial – too far out there. So, he tempered his message. He didn’t let go of his core intention, but he found a way to convey the essence of his message, without being so shocking or scandalous that he lost his audience.
When leading change, keep this principle in mind. Structure the change so it moves at a pace others can follow.