According to (Tandon, 2002), a change agent needs many personal characteristics in order to be successful. The role model of an outstanding change agent is embodied by James Shaw, who is described as young, ambitious, idealistic, demanding, enthusiastic, creative, intelligent, educated, persistent, strong-minded, as well as naïve, inexperienced, critical and unrealistic. He seems to have it all. And what his skills portfolio is missing, he compensates by building a powerful team around him. By recruiting former AIESEC members he acquires additional qualities such as impassioned speech, visionary skills, networking and communication skills. But a change agent needs more than that. He has to “keep it real”, as modern society would put it. In the words of (Tichy, 2007) a change agent needs to “walk the talk”, he has to be credible. (Quinn) states that the main reason for the failure of change efforts is lack of personal authenticity. He makes his point very clear by quoting Gandhi, who said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. So does James Shawn really practice what he preaches? Is he himself willing to change or is he only using his fine skills to promote change without any credibility? James Shawn gained much credibility due to his extensive engagement at AIESEC. This student organization is devoted to form sustainable leaders and a sense of international corporate social responsibility exactly the values Shawn wants to implement at PwC. But not only his background, also his concrete actions such as the implementation of the “triple-bottom-line reporting” and simply his mere commitment, show that indeed his “heart is in the field” (Tichy, 2007). Additionally, (Furnham, 2002), (Quinn), and (Tichy, 2007) all describe another personal characteristic a successful change agents needs to have: He has to be “bold and free” to never compromise the change agenda, even if this might cost his job (Tichy, 2007). Only when he leaves personal fears behind, when...
Bibliography: Furnham, A. (2002). Managers as change agents. Journal of Change Management , 3 (1), 21-29.
Quinn, R. E. On Becoming a Transformaional Change Agent.
The Young Change Agents, CS-02-015 (2002).
Tichy, N. (2007). Bob Knowling 's Change Manual. fastcompany.com.
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