Review of Leading Change, a Book by John P. Kotter


Change is something that inevitable to any individual or team and as a result of that, there is always need to ensure that different strategies are in place to promote swift management of change that happens. It is through change that individuals and organizations are going to successfully transition from one stage to the desired future state. Different perspectives have been offered on change and its management as a way of offering different lens through which it can be looked at and efficiently managed.

It is a structured approach to managing different forces that might come along the way as a result of change and how individuals are going to respond to it. Several authors have been able to write about change management and how different strategies can be applied to make sure that it is a success. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a review of Leading Change, a book by John P. Kotter and see how the same ideas can be applied when it comes to managing change from a recent event in my life.

Book Summary

John Kotter is an author whose works have been read all over the world and his concepts utilized when it comes to promoting change within a given organization. It is through his book titled “Leading Change” that he is able to highlight a number of concepts that can be noted when it comes to effectively leading change as a process. There is a widespread difficult when it comes to management of change and as a result of that, there are so many concepts that the author highlights as being important in the management of change. The following are some of the things that I learnt from this particular book and the reason as to why they are important.

Successful change is a result of establishing enough sense of urgency

According to the author, change only becomes successful when those who are going to be affected see the urgency and need for this particular change. It is not something that everyone might appreciate but is important to note that there are so many changes that are likely to occur along the way and those who are affected must be aware of the need and urgency. This phase can sound easy but it is the most difficult sometimes because of the manner in which it has been structured and what has to happen before the same has been offset (Kotter 34). Too many managers and few leaders might lead to paralysis and this is because of the manner in which the change process has to be set off by these leaders. Lastly, I was able to learn that a sense of urgency must therefore be found first before being able to attain the desired goal.

A powerful guiding coalition is important in change management

If it is in an organization, there must be a very powerful team that is put in place to ensure that change has been fostered and different procedures have been used when it comes to making sure that change has been effectively managed. This is important to me because it helped me understand different procedures that I can use when setting my goals in readiness for change and how to successfully manage them. Those who will join the system later are more likely to benefit because there will be a point of reference where they can get well acquitted with the process and the far that it might have gone. Transformation only becomes successful when it follows a set channel or path according to this author.

There must be a vision for change management to be successful

Successful transformation only occurs when there is a vision that is in place and all those who are involved in the process are aware of what needs to be achieved at the end of the day. The vision goes beyond the numbers that are supposed to be achieved at the end of the change exercise and this is because of the way in which transformation has to happen. This served as an eye-opener to me because where there is no vision; change itself might not succeed because it might be not clear to me what needs to be achieved. There must be ideas that are supposed to be used in the process of making change possible and this is because of the need to unite the entire organization towards achieving the same thing. The executive must use all possible channels to ensure that the needed ideas have been communicated to those who are part of the change process.

There must be clear communication about the change for its management to be effective.

Under-communication is a problem that might affect the change process and as a result of that, managers must ensure that change and its components have been communicated to the audience effectively. There must be clear channels through which the same follows and this is because of instances of confusion that might come up along the way. Employees must also understand how they can communicate what they need to the management in the organization.

Change can easily dissolve or disintegrate in the process if there is no clear communication between those who are being led and the management. This was important to me because of the manner in which it helps me clearly understand the role of effective communication in change management. When details are effectively communicated, then it is going to be easy to manage the change that comes with it because there is total control on the manner in which change has to be achieved.

Obstacles to the new vision in change management must be removed

Change is a process and along the way, there are going to be obstacles that must be dealt with especially those that might lead to results that are undesired. When large numbers of people are involved in the change process, there is a high likelihood that obstacles resulting from different positions held by these people will come in and the only way to make sure that this is tackled is to employ different strategies that reduce conflict. Resistance to change is another thing that must be handled in the change management process. These obstacles will act as a way of ensuring that a review of progress has been made and needed adjustments have been made on the entire plan. I now understand the kind of obstacles that I am likely to come across and the manner in which am supposed to tackle each of these obstacles.

Change synopsis

Change is a process that most of us go through and I was not an exemption in this case because of the manner in which I had to adjust myself when I was enrolling for my undergraduate studies which am still taking now. Hard expression is something that I had to go through at this point because I was getting ready for my undergraduate studies that formed a very important part of my studies and the way in which I relate to those around me.

The author above has noted that there is the likelihood that one might not succeed if the change process is not effectively managed and this is because of different factors that might come into interplay. This is a kind of change that needed management and as a result of that, the concepts discussed above form an integral part of the change management process in this scenario. Starting college is a change and everyone is supposed to be prepared for the change that might come along with it and change management skills are key to success here.

Application of concepts

The first thing that I will need to do in this process is to ensure that I have established the urgency to succeed through college and this is can be done through being personally responsible for everything that I choose to engage myself in and the way in which I am going to do it. A guide, in this case, can be developed by making sure that my goals are clear and this is what I did when I was in the first year.

Objectives that I personally set when I was in the first year are what guide me still up to today. I had to come up with a vision that was clear enough and this is because of the manner in which I can easily be derailed by the kind of life in college. There are obstacles along the way and handling them might totally be different from the way an organization is supposed to do it but it is important to make sure that this has been tackled easily.


In conclusion, change is something that is inevitable and each organization has to find ways of managing change that comes along the way. Different researchers have been concerned with the manner in which change within an organization can be managed effectively. John Kotter is one of those authors that have looked into the subject of change management and his findings have been documented in the book titled “Leading Change” which has been summarized here. How different concepts learned in this book can be utilized in managing change that is personally going through after joining college has also been discussed.

Works Cited

Kotter, John P., Leading change. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1996. Print.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Review of Leading Change, a Book by John P. Kotter'. 4 November.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Review of Leading Change, a Book by John P. Kotter." November 4, 2022.

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BusinessEssay. "Review of Leading Change, a Book by John P. Kotter." November 4, 2022.