There's a neat metaphor for understanding the delicate relationship between a change maker (be they in a formal leadership position or leading from the middle) and the rest of the people in an organisation. Imagine you are connected to the rest of the organisation by a big elastic band. As you move off in the direction of more ambitious, radical change, the elastic stretches. The pull on the others may be just enough to get them moving and bring them with you. You stay a bit ahead, to maintain momentum.
But if you go too far ahead, and they aren't ready to move so fast or such a distance, then the bounce goes out of the elastic, the tension rises and -ping- it snaps.
As a result, there's nothing holding you back!
But, unfortunately, there's no-one moving in your direction any more, either. And, if you look back now, you'll see that you're alone.
This article I wrote for Croner helps you check that you're involving people properly. They're happy for me to include the original here, as long as I say this:
"This report was published as part of Croner's Environmental Policy and Procedures, a resource designed to guide organisations through setting up an effective environmental management system. For more information on this and other products published by Croner, go to www.croner.co.uk or telephone 020 8547 3333."
Which I'm happy to do.