Change or Die!


Change can and will disrupt the unprepared organizations. Strong leaders adapt to change and thrive. Poor leaders turn off the lights when the entity ceases.

Change or die?


Wow! Wow indeed. That was my reaction when I first saw those words on the big screen at a church leadership conference. Okay. Maybe that is the wake-up call church leaders need. But business leaders get it. Right? Well, on the first page of the first chapter of John Maxwell’s book, Leadershift, “Change or die” jumped off the page. There it was again. The truth is, this world is changing at a rapid clip and if organizations do not transform to deal with the changes, these entities may cease to exist.


Lou Gerstner taught the big elephant, IBM, how to dance in the 90’s and the company survived by transforming itself. However, Software Publishing Corporation went out of business during this same time period. They were best known for Harvard Graphics that ran well on MS-DOS based computers. The world moved to Windows and the company did not adapt to the change soon enough. Powerpoint became the de facto standard and SPC was out of business.


This phenomenon is not limited to faith-based organizations and businesses. In 2018, Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, predicted that 50% of colleges and universities will close or go bankrupt in the next decade. They have been disrupted by online learning, among other things. Hospitals across this country are closing. Wharton Business School suggests, “If you look at the number of hospitals in the United States, it’s gradually declined because the hospital inpatient business is a flat-liner at best. The future growth of the hospital business is not in inpatient care, it’s outpatient care. So, this is just part of a wider trend.”


Change is no respecter of industry. It affects everything and everyone. So as leaders, how can we avoid the demise of the organization due to change? We embrace a mindset of continual growth and adaptability. In other words, we personally transform daily. Positive change on the outside will not happen until positive transformation has occurred on the inside. Followers will look to leaders for direction and hope. Maxwell offers seven tips to prepare us for the leader shifts we need to make to ensure we can lead effectively during the turbulence of change.


  1. Continually learn, unlearn, and relearn

  2. Value yesterday but live in today

  3. Rely on speed, but thrive on timing

  4. See the big picture as the picture keeps getting bigger

  5. Live in today but think about tomorrow

  6. Move forward courageously in the midst of uncertainty

  7. Realize today’s best will not meet tomorrow’s challenges


In future posts, we will delve deeper in change leadership. The list above only gets us prepared. Stay tuned. There is more to come. What other preparation tips would you add to the list? If you have suggestions, please share.


To receive more leadership tips, please contact us. At Apogee, we work with entities to strengthen their pipeline of leaders. We specialize in helping others lead through change. We welcome the opportunity to help you grow your team and/or you in the areas of leadership and personal growth.


That's it for now. Until the next tip....


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Mike Nwankwo

Founder & CEO

216.505.0254

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