Today’s volatile environment requires a strong balance of leadership to achieve growth and profitability. Defining a strategy and allocating resources require a harmonious blend of practicality and a futuristic vision.



Change is inevitable, making traditional “stay the course” strategies a thing of the past. Discover a truly collaborative and value-based approach to transformational change, enhanced business strategies and processes, and peak performances that lead to an improved bottom line.



Is your organization ready for change? Together, we lead you on your transformational journey by redefining the roles that leaders play in the environments they inhabit.


We Are Leadership’s


Facing the facts: Did you know that 80% of change efforts fail to realize the gains they had envisioned?

The difference between success and failure is the ability to change. We see the truth in this maxim everywhere – from nature to the global economy. Anybody can envision change or talk about change. Where most organizations fail is in the routine blocking and tackling that allow transformative changes to actually take place: planning the change process, putting the structures in place to ensure success, change management, leadership development – it’s a lot to handle.

Any organization is capable of change, but most fail to capitalize on their potential because day-to-day concerns get in the way.

The Change Leader offers holistic approaches to change that amplifies your organization’s best characteristics while providing immediate, actionable plans to overcome your weaknesses. We have decades of experience working with nonprofit and education organizations to build engaged cultures that can – and want to – execute on your vision and goals.

We understand our clients, and we know how demanding leadership can be – we’ve been there ourselves. We don’t offer a magic solution. We don’t promise that day-to-day challenges will disappear. What we offer is a legitimate alternative to the standard approach offered by large consulting firms: a step-by-step blueprint to take your ideas and turn them into reality without sacrificing your organization’s overall essence – its vision, values, and ambitions.


Latest News & Insights

Organization Evolution

  • Non-Profit & Higher Education Grant Writing 101

    Grants play a key role in the fundraising plans of higher education and nonprofit organizations alike. Unfortunately, in either industry, there’s no magic recipe for guaranteed success in grant writing. University Grant Writing Challenges For higher education, the biggest issues are that ...


    UC Davis Example Proves Value of Culture Building and Leadership Development

    Last week, the University of California at Davis placed Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi on administrative leave after an investigation “raised serious questions” about potential violations of university policies. This week she was terminated. According to a subsequent statement by University of ...

  • Live Q&A Sessions with Leadership, Relationship & Change Experts

    Strong leadership and healthy relationships are the keys to any organizations’ long-term success and profitability. The Change Leader founder and CEO Drumm McNaughton, PhD is teaming up with celebrated relationship expert Rhoberta Shaler, PhD to provide free interactive BLAB chats ...


    What Will Tomorrow’s Universities Look Like?

    The future of residential universities in America is a hotly debated topic right now. Many are asking what higher education could, and should, look like 20, 30, or 50 years from now. Trying to predict events decades before they unfold may ...

  • Higher Education and the Newspaper Biz — What Universities Can Learn

    Journalism is among the most revered and important careers in the modern world -- but a combination of fast-moving technology and slow shifts in practices has made the profession a shadow of what it once was. Even the most venerable ...


    For-Profit Education’s PR Problem: What’s To Be Done

    A March 2016 study by the American Economic Review looked at the relationship between academic institution types and graduate job prospects, and the results aren't promising for for-profit colleges. Graduates from these institutions are at a significant disadvantage in the ...

  • The Top Trends in Higher Education: Are You Prepared?

    Last month the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative issued a report called the NMC Horizon Report: 2016 Higher Education Edition that explored key trends, challenges, and technologies that are likely to affect higher education within the next ...


    On Leadership Assessment in Higher Education

    Until recently, the basic responsibilities of leaders in higher education had been unchanged for centuries. For most of the last century, universities and colleges enjoyed steady growth, favorable public perception, and dependable funding. With institutions succeeding on all fronts, there ...

  • New Book Examines Changes in the Higher Ed Marketplace

    We live in a changing world, and nowhere is that more apparent than in higher education. The intellectual energy, thirst for innovation and steady stream of technology-savvy young people can make academic institutions a place of constant cultural flux. But ...


    UC Berkeley’s Response to Budget Crisis: a Model for Struggling Higher Ed

    The University of California at Berkeley is recognized as one of the top public universities in the nation, but lately it has been making headlines for another reason--its growing budget deficit. To patch holes in its budget, UC Berkeley has ...

  • Progress for Women in Higher Education: Are You on Board?

    In 2009, the American Council on Education released a comprehensive study of female faculty in higher education. It showed that although women made up over half of the population, they comprised a much smaller fraction of upper-level higher education faculty ...


    Nonprofits: Measuring Progress Toward Your Vision and Goals

    Nonprofits’ bottom-line goal is to create meaningful change for the people and causes they serve. Passion for the cause and the desire to make a difference are necessary, but unfortunately they don’t always ensure a nonprofit’s long-term success or viability. ...

  • University Presidents Speak: Greatest Challenges Facing Higher Education

    It’s no secret that higher education is facing a sort of crisis. As public aid is slashed and students are faced with mounting debts, many are questioning the value of four-year colleges and universities. Can they remain relevant, accessible, and ...


    How Universities Find the Right Job Candidates

    To enjoy continued success in the world of higher education, you’ve got to find the right staff and faculty members to join your team. Each new hire takes a significant amount of time and effort, and high turnover rates can ...

  • The Key to Employee Retention: Start Early and Be Proactive

    Hiring a talented and dedicated staff is essential to running a successful organization. What many institutions fail to do is retain good staff, and one reason for that is that they fail to invest in retention efforts. The best way ...


    Signs that Your Leadership Technique is too Tough

    There’s a fine line between being a strong leader and pushing your employees so hard that their performance suffers. With so much pressure on leaders to extract the most from their teams, finding that line can be a real challenge. ...

  • Why Recognizing Strengths is the Key to Company Growth

    When it comes down to it, growth is the ultimate concern of every organization leader. How far should we expand our operations? What kind of expansion can we afford? How much will we grow in the coming quarter? In the ...


    Thoughtful Organizational Change

    Every organization continually strives to do better, respond faster, and drive profits higher – and that means change is a constant. But sometimes it takes holistic, organization-wide change to bring about real results. Demanding too much of individual staff members ...

  • The Difference Between Strategic Management and Strategic Planning

    Both strategic management and strategic planning are keys to business success in any industry, but few know the difference between the two. According to a 2009 Harvard Business Review article “Four Fatal Flaws of Strategic Planning,” 88 percent of companies ...


    How Mindfulness and Self-Control Affect Work Performance

    Everyone has bad days. It’s a fact of life. There will be days when you’re under the weather, exhausted from a late night, or feeling unmotivated. Though most of us simply try and power through, a lack of mental energy ...

  • Navy Seals’ Hell Week Reveals Fundamentals of Leadership

    No, you don’t have to crawl under live machine-gun fire or lay prone for hours in the freezing surf to learn the value of leadership, but there’re lots that we in the corporate world can learn about leadership from the ...


    Part III: Create the Vision and Strategy

    The last two segments of our eight-part series Leading Organizational Change discussed creating a sense of urgency and finding leaders to help you implement organizational change. Today we’re going to talk about creating the vision for your change and how ...

  • The Benefits of Consultants

    Internal Problem, External Solution Companies often expect that they can solve their problems internally, and that bringing in consultants is the last resort. But it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be that way. The most effective leaders don’t exhaust themselves by taking charge ...


    Maintaining Team Integrity and Innovation

    While some describe change as the only constant in the world, it’s often misunderstood from the business perspective. Maintaining an organization’s (or a team’s) buy-in, work ethic, and faith during times of change can be challenging for any leader—regardless of ...

  • Part II: Find Leaders to Drive Company Change

    Our previous installment of the eight-part series Leading Organizational Change discussed how to create a sense of urgency in your staff and bring all levels and departments into the fold. The next step: find leaders to help you make long-term, ...


    Part I: Creating a Sense of Urgency and Enthusiasm

    When changes need to be made company-wide, it takes far more than a few emails to upper-management. That’s why we’re beginning an eight-part series called Leading Organizational Change. Whereas some of the model is based on John Kotter's 8-step model ...

  • Striking a Balance: a Fun and Productive Professional Environment

    Technology has changed world culture in ways nobody could have predicted. The Millennial generation is entering the workforce, a generation of idealistic, confident, demanding, and, above all, individualistic employees. They’re demanding new kinds of leaders, and CEOs of both profitable ...


    How a Culture of Learning Helps You Compete

    How do startups compete with big corporations? They usually can’t match the salaries offered to promising applicants. They can’t offer the same benefits. Their offices don’t have pool tables and ping pong tables and bean bags laying around. Yet every year, ...

  • Strategies to Break (and Prevent) Office Negativity

    87% of companies report that employee engagement and office culture are their number one challenges. The difference between profitability and bankruptcy could have very little to do with the market or the economy as a whole, but more than likely, ...


    Building Cultures that Care and Lead to an Engaged Workforce

    What Employers Need to Know We currently have four (or maybe five) generations in the workforce, and according to some sources, millennials already surpass the baby boomers in numbers. Whereas Millennials, those Generation-Y whiz kids born roughly between 1980 and the ...

  • Say Yes to Employee Engagement With These Management Tips

    While they report feeling more involved than their global counterparts, less than one-third of American professionals describe themselves as actively engaged by their work, according to a 2014 Gallup survey. How can companies encourage their employees to become more fully ...


    There’s Only One Way For An Organization To Evolve: LEADERSHIP!

    “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein. As the Change Leader, I am often asked: what are the key steps to help an organization evolve? The truth is there is only one-way: change ...

  • Why Look at Organizations from a Systems Perspective?

    If you are suffering from insomnia some night, watch Mindwalk. This 1990 film, with Sam Waterston, will either cure you of sleeplessness or it will give you a nice look into systems perspective. One of my favorite lines is, “At ...


    6 Key Questions to Solve the Toughest Organizational Challenges

    When working with an organization, whether helping them thrive in a period of transition, increase effectiveness and engagement, or undergo an organizational evolution, my focus is often first on helping leadership embrace a systems thinking perspective as opposed to a ...

  • 4 Steps in Solving Organizational System Problems

    There’s a reason we say, “It’s only the tip of the iceberg.” Only about one-ninth of an iceberg is visible above water, but it’s not the visible portion you have to worry about. It’s the other eight-ninths that are lurking ...


    Evolution vs. Revolution: Do You Know the Difference?

    Change is everywhere. And whether you’re talking about your hometown or your day-to-day activities, adjustment and fine tuning is inevitable. Within the context of the organization, the challenge is learning to handle change effectively – to manage change with evolution ...

  • The Pros & Cons of Organizational Transparency

    Organizational transparency is here to stay. In fact, some may argue it’s the new competitive advantage. With the digital age in full bloom, it’s never been easier or more convenient for institutions to open doors to how they think and ...


    “The Changing of the Tides”: Why Morality Matters Again

    Not too many years ago, the organization was in a powerful position and could rely on its people to support and maintain any direction necessary- even if it meant compromising morals. In many cases, workers overlooked bad behavior- even participated ...

  • Organization Evolution Case Study: Two Evolved Organizations

    What does an evolved organization look like? Is it easy to recognize? What differentiates evolved behavior from behavior in transition? Throughout my travels, I have seen my share of companies and I am often asked to identify what I believe ...


    Valuing Values & Creating a ‘Living Company’

    “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower The Los Angeles School District serves almost 700,000 students and employs 84,000 people with a budget $7.3 billion. After working with the district, some ...