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Change Leadership and the Role of the CEO

Change Leadership and the Role of the CEO

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

Leadership is essential for any organization to move forward and reach success, and in today’s fast-paced world, change leadership is essential for companies to stay relevant. Change management and leadership skills require CEOs to direct, motivate, and inspire their teams towards achieving long-term success. Change leadership is the process of leading teams through a transition — allowing them to adjust to the changes and new environment with the ultimate goal of increasing effectiveness, efficiency, and leading them towards success. In order to ensure a successful transition, it is important for the CEO to have an active role and to set an example for their team.

The CEO’s role in leading transformation and organizational change is a key component of success. From setting objectives and developing strategies to leading the team into the future, the CEO is the one who must set an example and inspire the rest of the organization to join the change effort. In order for the CEO to create a successful change leadership culture, the following are essential:

  • Developing a vision and objectives for the organization
  • Identifying the necessary resources to achieve the vision
  • Establishing the necessary processes and systems to support change
  • Creating a positive atmosphere and fostering collaboration
  • Motivating the team and aligning their efforts towards the mission
  • Assessing the impact of change and measuring progress
  • Learning and adapting to changes quickly and effectively
  • Recognizing and celebrating successes

The success of a CEO’s change leadership is usually seen in the results. CEOs with the ability to lead, motivate, and inspire their organizations through changes often experience increased success and reach their desired goals that much faster. To further illustrate the role of the CEO in driving successful organizational changes, here are two examples of successful change leadership:

Case Study 1 – PepsiCo

First, let’s look at how the CEO of PepsiCo, Ramon Laguarta, has successfully navigated the company through a period of transition. At the start of his tenure, he outlined four key elements in his strategy: driving innovation, winning with customers, optimizing operations, and transforming the company’s culture. There was a particular focus on transforming the culture of the organization to foster collaboration and empower its employees to take initiative and share ideas. To further this effort, the CEO created several development programs to drive innovation and learning. Additionally, he assigned dedicated resources to talent development, and provided employees with exposure to executives to the highest level. Ultimately, the company was able to achieve success and to successfully navigate the process of transition under the change leadership of the CEO.

Case Study 2 – Airbus

Second, let’s examine the example of Phillipe Houze, the CEO of Airbus. He recognized that the success of the company relied heavily on its ability to remain competitive and innovate in the aerospace industry. Starting from his first day at the helm, he issued a decree to the organization that all levels of the company’s operations should focus on customer service and product innovation. He established a culture of collaboration that included both technical and commercial expertise, ensuring that all decisions were made with the customer in mind. As a result, the company innovated and steadily increased their market share and their success.


These two examples demonstrate the impact a CEO can have in leading his or her organization through times of transition and change. Change leadership is key for a CEO to initiate and set an example for their team, and the ability to successfully navigate and manage change will have a direct impact on the results of the organization. In conclusion, the role of the CEO in change is central to the success of any transformation effort and is key in driving the desired results.

Image credit: Pixabay

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