Allies for Change

By Douglas B. Reeves

Resistance to change is part of the change process. If school leaders do not face some resistance to innovative practices, then leaders are not really attempting to engage in meaningful reform. Change in any system means a loss of previously accepted practices and challenges to prevailing wisdom. Because loss and challenge are painful experiences, resistance is inevitable.

However, board members and leaders should distinguish between skeptics -- resisters who demand evidence before accepting change -- and cynics, for whom no amount of evidence is ever acceptable. Both sources of resistance can appear to be similar, but wise leaders will value the skeptics and banish the cynics.

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