The 5 key points Harold makes are:

1. Don’t call yourself a change agent
2. Show some appreciation for what you’re joining
3. Test what you are learning with some key people
4. Build your change program with the team
5. Be authentic

Ask your question: http://www.drharoldhillman.com/ask-harold-show.html

YouTube Link: How to Disrupt the Status Quo Without Damading Co-Worker Relationships | Episode 3

Ask Harold Episode 3 Transcript:

On this episode we talk about one person’s challenge to go into a company and SHAKE THINGS UP!... and not get everybody all upset in the process. A lot of people can relate to this.

Hello and welcome to Ask Harold. This is a show all about you. On each episode I’ll answer one question on the topics of leadership, business and performance; all to help you be more successful at work.

Who am I? Well I’m Harold Hillman. I’m a leadership and business coach and I work with many chief executives and their senior leadership teams. I believe that knowing how to lead teams and companies through major change is the most critical, the most important skill, required in business today. I’m also the author of two books on authenticity: The Impostor Syndrome and Fitting In, Standing Out.

Today we have a great question for our third Ask Harold episode. This question is from David and it’s a pretty common challenge when you are hired to shake things up. I mean… what if people decide not to follow you? So here’s what David writes:

I’ve been working in my current role for 6 months now. I’m a senior manager and I get on well with most of my peer group and with the company’s leadership team.

There is a problem though: I was recruited to shake things up, to ask the tough questions and to disturb the status quo that has started to slow down growth in the business.

My question is:

What are some things that I can do to make this happen? How can I shake things up without damaging relationships that are still forming?

I think this is going to be harder than I imagined. I didn’t realize how dug in everybody would be.

Thanks in advance,


Well, David, look, your question is very important and it’s important whether you’ve been hired from the outside to bring in a new perspective (that’s certainly the case for you), or from another part of the company – somebody who’s coming from another part of the company and they want you to replicate something that you did well over there, here. And then you get inside of the new team or the new company and you realize that it’s harder than you thought it would be.

So David, here are 5 things that I’d like for you to think about in relation to your challenge:

1. Number one: don’t call yourself a change agent. I don’t like that title, and it puts way too much pressure on you to be some super human hero that swoops down and saves people from themselves. This is about what the company can do, this is not about what one person can do. So take the pressure off, that’s not a good title.

2. Second thing I want you to think about David is: show some appreciation for what you’re joining. It’s like a newlywed: when you go into your partner’s family home for the first time, you go in and you show some respect. There may be some things that may upset you a little bit, but you don’t walk in to a new organization and in to a new team, particularly if you’ve been brought on to change things, and start disrespecting a lot of things around you. So show some appreciation; let people know what you value in terms of what it is you are joining – it’s important for them to know that.

3. The third thing that I’d like for you to think about, David, is: test what you’re learning with some key people. Just a few people. Test what you’re learning, show them that their perspective matters. As you’re formulating your views, keep your thinking open and go and talk to a few peers, a few people, some of your direct reports, just people around the organization. Get them to think with you – it really then gives them some sense of ownership about where you’re headed with your thinking. And to that point:

4. The fourth thing I’d like for you to think about, David, is: build your change program with the team. Again, don’t have this be about something that’s imposed on them; you don’t want to give that perspective that somehow you have one foot in and one foot out. You’ve got to put some skin in the game and they’ve got to put some skin in the game: you’ve got to build this with the team because the team needs to own this. This is not about what you are doing to them, but what you are doing with them.

5. And then, finally: be authentic. Be authentic, David, that is: be yourself. Take the pressure off of yourself to be perfect, lean in to those things that you do very well, and ask for support and help around those things that you may need help with. Above all else, in terms of being authentic, let other people help.

Thank you David for your question and thanks to you all for listening to Ask Harold. On the next episode I will answer a question from a viewer who says that she’s on a dysfunctional team, and wants to know what to do. And I can certainly talk from personal experience on that topic so tune in next time for more.

If you like this video, tell others about it, and, most important, subscribe to Sigmoid's YouTube Channel. If you have a question of your own, or want to see my other videos and articles, go to my blog at www.drharoldhillman.com

Take good care and see you all soon.