Most large-scale changes are driven by business need, strategic initiative, competition in the market, and budget requirements. They involve executives, board meetings, business plans and proposals, and a lot of hard work done by a small group of leaders. This small group of leaders usually takes the initial idea and gets into the details to build a business plan and the budget forecasting. They have to learn a lot about the change itself, most of the moving parts, the vendors involved, any other external dependencies to determine costs and benefits. After that, they facilitate all the meetings to get approval and funding for the change initiative. From this small group arises the executive sponsor, who will lead and oversee the entire change initiative to its successful implementation. The executive sponsor is accountable for the whole change initiative, and this role can make or break a career. If you get an opportunity to serve as an executive sponsor, take it! The risk is great, but if you surround yourself with a team of competent people 48and support them tirelessly, the reward can be immeasurable. I have worked with many executive sponsors over the years and if you find yourself in this role or are considering one in the future, I have some helpful advice for you.