Leadership is about setting a direction. It's about creating a vision, empowering and inspiring people to want to achieve the vision, and enabling them to do so with energy and speed through an effective strategy. In its most basic sense, leadership is about mobilizing a group of people to jump into a better future.

— John P. Kotter

The most astonishing John P. Kotter quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

One of the most common ways to overcome resistance to change is to educate people about it beforehand. Communication of ideas helps people see the need for and the logic of a change. The education process can involve one-on-one discussions, presentations to groups, or memos and reports.


Effective leaders help others to understand the necessity of change and to accept a common vision of the desired outcome.


The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon.

If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.


Producing major change in an organization is not just about signing up one charismatic leader. You need a group - a team - to be able to drive the change. One person, even a terrific charismatic leader, is never strong enough to make all this happen.


Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.


Good communication is not just data transfer.

You need to show people something that addresses their anxieties, that accepts their anger, that is credible in a very gut-level sense, and that evokes faith in the vision.


Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.


Without credible communication, and a lot of it, the hearts and minds of others are never captured.


Anyone in a large organization who thinks major change is impossible should probably get out.


In the final analysis, change sticks when it becomes the way we do things around here.


Overcoming complacency is crucial at the start of any change process, and it often requires a little bit of surprise, something that grabs attention at more than an intellectual level. You need to surprise people with something that disturbs their view that everything is perfect.


Good communication does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs. It isn't about slickness. Simple and clear go a long way.


About John P. Kotter

Quotes 61 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Educator
Birthday October 16

Neurologists say that our brains are programmed much more for stories than for abstract ideas. Tales with a little drama are remembered far longer than any slide crammed with analytics.


Great communicators have an appreciation for positioning.

They understand the people they're trying to reach and what they can and can't hear. They send their message in through an open door rather than trying to push it through a wall.


We know that leadership is very much related to change.

As the pace of change accelerates, there is naturally a greater need for effective leadership.


Because management deals mostly with the status quo and leadership deals mostly with change, in the next century we are going to have to try to become much more skilled at creating leaders.


People are more inclined to be drawn in if their leader has a compelling vision.

Great leaders help people get in touch with their own aspirations and then will help them forge those aspirations into a personal vision.


One of the most powerful forms of information is feedback on our own actions.


Great leaders motivate large groups of individuals to improve the human condition.


This is true even in organizations that are very focused on analysis and quantitative measurement, even among people who think of themselves as smart in an MBA sense. In highly successful change efforts, people find ways to help others see the problems or solutions in ways that influence emotions, not just thought.


We keep a change in place by helping to create a new, supportive, and sufficiently strong organizational culture.


Managers are trained to make incremental, programmatic improvements.

They aren't trained to lead large-scale change.


Analytical tools have their limitations in a turbulent world.

These tools work best when parameters are known, assumptions are minimal, and the future is not fuzzy.


Many years ago, I think I got my first insight on how an incredibly diverse team can work together and do astonishing things, and not just misunderstand each other and fight.


Never underestimate the power of the mind to disempower.


Great leadership does not mean running away from reality.

Sometimes the hard truths might just demoralize the company, but at other times sharing difficulties can inspire people to take action that will make the situation better.


Over the years I have become convinced that we learn best - and change - from hearing stories that strike a chord within us ... Those in leadership positions who fail to grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves.


Great vision communication usually means heartfelt messages are coming from real human beings.


Changing behavior is less a matter of giving people analysis to influence their thoughts than helping them to see a truth to influence their feelings.


No vision issue today is bigger than the question of efficiency versus some combination of innovation and customer service.


A culture truly changes only when a new way of operating has been shown to succeed over some minimum period of time.


Never underestimate the power of a good story.


Leadership produces change. That is its primary function


What's really driving the boom in coaching, is this: as we move from 30 miles an hour to 70 to 120 to 180......as we go from driving straight down the road to making right turns and left turns to abandoning cars and getting motorcycles...the whole game changes, and a lot of people are trying to keep up, learn how not to fall.


Motivation and inspiration energize people, not by pushing them in the right direction as control mechanisms do but by satisfying basic human needs for achievement, a sense of belonging, recognition, self-esteem, a feeling of control over one's life, and the ability to live up to one's ideals. Such feelings touch us deeply and elicit a powerful response.


Tradition is a very powerful force.


Leadership is different from management, but not for the reasons most people think.


I'm impatient. Typically people think they know all about change and don't need help. Their approach tends to be more management-oriented than leadership-oriented. It's very frustrating.


The heart of change is in the emotions.


Leadership is about coping with change


Complacency is almost always the product of success or perceived success


The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems.

The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people.


Leadership defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision, and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles.


Most US corporations today are over-managed and under-led.

They need to develop their capacity to exercise leadership.


A leader needs enough understanding to fashion an intelligent strategy.


We are always creating new tools and techniques to help people, but the fundamental framework is remarkably resilient, which means it must have something to do with the nature of organizations or human nature.


People change what they do less because they are given an analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown a truth that influences their feelings.


Great leaders understand that historical success tends to produce stable and inwardly focused organizations, and these outfits, in turn, reinforce a feeling of contentment with the status quo.


Never underestimate the magnitude of the power of the forces that reinforce the status quo.