Leading Through Transition

Leadership transitions can be fast, slow, smooth or brutal. All of them bring about change. And change always makes the people affected by the change a little bit scared about the future.

I’m currently immersed in two leadership transitions. One involves helping my successor begin well with his new team. We’ve done this, in part, through a five-day “New National Team School” that wrapped up today. The other involves me trying to lead a team 10,000 miles away through a change process. Yea, it’s been hard but good for the heart.

My good friend Kok Hiang is about 9 months into a leadership transition for the Singapore ministry. He’s hit a few bumps and grown a larger heart for God and people through the process. So, it seemed like a good idea to take the new team I’ve been coaching this week down to have a little team-to-team field trip. KH oozed with wisdom as our team asked questions and took notes (see pic) on some of his nuggets. The short version:

“Two keys to leading well through transition are 1) Timely communication with all the key stakeholders in the vision, and 2) To keep asking “What is God doing in my heart in the midst of the changes?

“Well-led change involves five Re’s:

  1. Re-kindling. Our hearts must grow with the vision.
  2. Re-prioritizing. Realignment, refocusing, and reclarification of our direction.
  3. Re-newal of leadership. Injection of new blood (hopefully not a complete transfusion).
  4. Re-structuring. Leveraging our critical resources in light of strategic moves forward.
  5. Re-source generation. Tapping new sources of innovation, tools, people and money.”

Thanks, KH, for the wise counsel.
Lesson for anyone in the change process: Consider KH’s advice.

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

2 replies on “Leading Through Transition”

Makes me wish I’d joined the group that afternoon for the field trip. It was great to learn from and with you and help coach the team a little during this past week. Great new pic of the family on the blog sidebar!

Yes, it was a very engaging learning experience – live, visceral, and practical. It’s crucial to exit our own well-worn pathways. Stuff like this helps me un-learn and validate assumptions.

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