Change is all around us — all the time. And this is more true now than ever before. This fact is important to us& as leaders because we need to be in front of the changes facing our organizations and teams.
You are nodding as you read because you already know this, and yet there is something you need to hear. Let me get personal and direct and maybe even get in your face a bit.
If you want change to happen in your organization, you’ve got to be willing to change too.
More than willing, you must change.
Even more than that, people must see you as changing.
Remember, people watch your feet far more than your lips. Gandhi said “you must be the change you want to see in the world.” This is profoundly true, often repeated and nodded at — then promptly ignored.
Are you doing or ignoring?
Do people see the change in your actions?
Willingness isn’t enough, and even change itself isn’t enough — people must see your example in order for you to champion change most successfully.
Let’s look at the current U.S. Congress and the shutdown/debt showdown. All members talk about the need for change. Many members have laid out plans and speak in favor of making changes. Yet, in many cases, they don’t really want to change or they want incremental changes (when most everyone agrees something more is needed), or perhaps most insidious of all, they propose changes that impact others, but not them.
Regardless of your political viewpoint, you can see that this approach isn’t working.
Congress isn’t making much change happen, and the trust people have in its members is at historical lows. So if you are a leader, they are the anti-model of what you want to do.
You can learn from their mistakes to lead more effectively.
Successful people often learn what “everyone else does” then do the opposite. It is a good strategy, and it applies here. Most leaders try to orchestrate change like a puppeteer manipulates a puppet — hands-off and from a distance.
If you want change, real change, or more rapid change, you have to get into the game. You have to sacrifice, make adjustments and change your behavior — and you have to help others see that you are doing it.
This isn’t acting — it must be authentic — and you must do it if you want to create the kind of change you really need in your organization.
Take the ideas in this blog post to heart and feet.
If you want to create change — start with yourself.