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Can Leadership End the Tyranny of Change?

“Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy


According to many publications and my own empiric ‘evidence’, most of all change initiatives fail. The simple question is: Why do you think this is happening? Is it lacking definition, process, procedure, or could this somehow have to do with how a leader personally views, accepts, or rejects change?

It is interesting to see that there are still leaders, who doubt who decides, when it comes to change. I often suggest leaders to look back at a time when they actually tried to make someone change. When these leaders imagined to roll-out some new directive through a ‘Friday afternoon email’, or any other ‘directive’ which fell through in its effectiveness.

Initiatives like this turn into a major cause of leadership frustration, excessive organisational stress, team dysfunction and even executive burn-out – just to name a few.

Over the years as a practicing international executive leader and currently in my role as an executive coach, working with executives and professionals on leadership development and performance management (including burn-out), I often get questioned on change.

More particular on the reasoning behind people’s own ability or reluctance to change. Leaders are often entirely focused on their relationship with the outside world – not realising, while they are doing so, they are quite disturbing their own inner world.


First, I personally belief there is so much stigma around the word change, for it to be better banned from professional language – about the answer to what to call it instead more later on in this article. I have experienced countless leaders and team members who advocated to me that they personally liked to change. I have written about this before in earlier articles. Let me once again be very clear about this: No one likes to change – no matter what people say.

Secondly, asking people if they do like to change, is like asking them if they want to live? Most people do not want to sound naïve and answer “yes” to both these questions. In my view, people are not integrally thinking (using our left and right brain integrally) when answering this type of questions.

Thirdly, all people, me included, project the lack of safety and uncertainty in the future unknown. People are continuously focused on making the uncertain less insecure – in business we call this intellectually ‘risk management’. People are focused on the value judgment of the impending change and what it potentially could mean to them. Last time it did go well, but how about this time?


The subconscious mind is masterfully releasing associated negative memory bits, forming a worst-case scenario movie-trailer on what is about to happen. Despite all its wonderful qualities, the subconscious mind can only derive (past) images/sounds from one’s vast audio-visual database (memory). So, the ‘protective question’ quickly becomes – Yes, but what if?

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Johan Reinhoudt

Johan is een voormalige life-sciences executive, oprichter en directeur van Top-Coach en PTSS Voorbij. Hij is de ontwikkelaar van het “True Result™ Executive Coaching 5-Stappenprogramma” (prestatieverbetering), en de “12-weken Coach™” (versneld en blijvend herstel van burn-out).

Dit is executive coaching door een ervaren senior executive en goed opgeleide professionele executive coach, waarbij geavanceerde coaching interventies worden gebruikt. De coaching is daarom dan ook bijzonder geschikt voor executives en professionals die "nu" vooruit willen en die willen investeren in een 1-1 persoonlijk ontwikkelingstraject met blijvende resultaten.

Johan is Master Certified Coach, Effortless Coach en Master Burnout Coach en hij is geaccrediteerd door de Nederlandse Orde van Beroeps Coaches (NOBCO), de Internationale Logosynthese® Vereniging (LIA) en de Internationale Coaching Council (ICC).
Verder is hij geassocieerd met de Europese Mentoring en Coaching Council (EMCC) en de Vereniging voor Uitgebreide Energie Psychologie (ACEP). Hij heeft gedurende de afgelopen twintig jaar vele aanvullende en geavanceerde trainingen gevolgd, waaronder een afgeronde opleiding tot Logosynthese® Practitioner.

Het is Johan ’s missie om met Top-Coach executives en professionals te ondersteunen bij het verhogen van hun persoonlijke prestatie, veerkracht en vitaliteit en daardoor op duurzame wijze bij te dragen aan een gezonde leef- en werkomgeving.

Hij is woonachtig in de regio Utrecht en werkt in een persoonlijk gesprek, live en online met executives en professionals in organisaties door geheel Nederland, maar ook internationaal.

Voor meer informatie kunt u hem vrijblijvend bellen via Tel. 030-200 6761 of e-mailen:

Johan is a former life sciences executive, founder and director of Top-Coach. He is the developer of the "True Result™ Executive Coaching 5-Step Program" (Performance Improvement) and the "12-week Coach™" (Burnout Recovery).

This is advanced executive coaching by an experienced senior executive and well-trained professional executive coach. The coaching is particularly suitable for executives and professionals who want to move forward "now" and who want to invest in a 1-1 personal development proces with permanent results.

Johan is a Master Certified Coach, Effortless Coach and Master Burnout Coach and he is accredited by the Dutch Association of Professional Coaches (NOBCO), the International Logosynthesis® Association (LIA) and the International Coaching Council (ICC).
He is also associated with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP). Over the past twenty years, he has completed many additional and advanced training courses, including a completed training to become a Logosynthesis® Practitioner.

It is Johan's mission with Top-Coach to support executives and professionals to increase their personal performance, resilience and vitality and thereby contribute to a healthy living and working environment in a sustainable way.

He lives in the Utrecht region in the Netherlands and works live and online in a personal conversation with executives and professionals in organisations throughout the Netherlands, but also internationally.

For more information you can call him via Tel.+(31) (0)30-200 6761 or e-mail:

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