Leading Change: Desire

RWE_ The Desire for GoldDesire alone is not enough to be a catalyst for change; however with out it, we won’t change. I’ve heard it said, “until the pain of remaining the same is GREATER than the pain of remaining the same, we will not change.” Desire is what focuses that pain of remaining the same, and fuels our change effort!

Desire fuels our heart. Desire reveals to us what we actually want. Desire is what moves us towards action! Desire though, has various levels. The worst part is that there is no gauge to tell us how much internal desire we have or have left. What’s worse is that “some desire” is not enough to actually cause us to move. When we have a 1/4 tank of fuel left our car will still move and go where we direct it; when we have a 1/4 tank of desire it’s not enough to actually cause us to move. **side note: don’t get caught up on an actual percentage, the “1/4” was just an arbitrary number to signify that having some desire is not enough to actually make us move – every individual requires their own amount of desire/motivation, the key is to figure out how much we need to actually make us move**

The questions we must ask our selves:
“Why do I desire change?”
“What benefits will come as a result of change?”
“Where does the motivation for change come from?”

I love Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” and his book, Start With Why! In both of these Sinek insist that we START WITH WHY! The WHY matters the most because it clarifies what we feel and what we believe. The “why” gives us a reason to change, it gives us something to believe in, it gives us a cause to buy-into! And if the why is big enough and important enough it will exponentially increase the actuality of change!

The “why” lends itself to the intrinsic motivations from personal benefit! In others, I’m going to care more about the “why” of any particular change, if I can clearly understand how it will benefit me!   And while this may seem selfish and self-serving, it’s how our brains work, and there is nothing wrong with this! When we desire change, because the pain of remaining the same is uncomfortable, we need to grab onto and cling to the benefits. The pain of our current circumstances are not enough propel us to the consistency that is required for change, but rather it the benefits of the change coupled with the pain of remaining the same that carry us through the difficulty of the change process! In other words, when we combine the pain of how we currently feel with the hope of how we want to feel, we are more likely to push through the friction caused by change!

So then, where does it all come from? How do we maximize the pain and the hope? This is where I may lose some of you. The pain of remaining the same does not come from an intrinsic source but rather from extrinsic factors! When I climb up a flight of stairs and I’m winded, I feel the need for a change in my health. When I look in the mirror and I don’t like the shape that I see, I desire change. When I can’t fit into a pair of pants that used to be loose on me, the need for change becomes more evident. All of these are external factors that cause me to feel something internally. The reason I believe that it takes a large sum of these external factors to affect the way we feel internally is because we dismiss them individually. We excuse them, we believe they are not as “bad” as they really are! We struggle with this tension between “self-acceptance” and “need to change”. I believe that self-awareness and accepting your strengths and weakness for what they are is crucial, but I also believe that we use self-acceptance as an excuse for not working through the pain of change!

If we going to increase and maximize on our desire for change, we must not dismiss or marginalize the external factors that encourage us to change. We must admit that getting winded going up a flight of stairs is not OK and really is a bad thing. We must admit that what ever negative feeling we are experiencing really is as bad as we think it is! Then, we must envision what life would be like if we changed, magnifying that hope.  Here is the sum total: Accept that the bad really is that bad and that the hope really is that great! That’s where real, meaningful desire comes from!

Questions to ask yourself about desire:

  1. Do I marginalize the factors that cause me pain/discomfort? – If so, STOP!
  2. Am I willing to feel the pain daily? – Desire/Motivation is needed daily in the change process until it becomes internal, and that means feeling the pain daily!
  3. Do I have a clear picture of my hope for the future? – If not, write it out! The more clear the picture, the easier it is to hold onto in the times of difficulty!
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Leading Change: Knowledge

Todd Henry_ Own your growthIn Leading Change: A Formula for Change, I stated that I hate change! That’s still true in this post, only I’m dragging you in here with me! You hate change just as much as I do, just as much as any one does for that matter. NO ONE LIKES CHANGE! Do you know why no one likes change, other than because it’s hard? We hate admitting we have to change because it means admitting that we know, think, feel, or do is WRONG! Let’s be honest, nobody likes to be wrong!

When we enter the change process the first thing that we have to do is to change the way we think. We must be willing to let go of what we know to grab hold of new information, or even a deeper level of information to what we already have. The first stage of the change formula is knowledge!

I love to learn, I love to read and research, I love to drown my self in knowledge, information, and facts; but for some this doesn’t come easy or naturally. For some, you hate this stage because you think you already know the answers, and if that’s you answer me this: why haven’t you changed already? Gaining knowledge is the easiest stage of the change formula, even if you hate learning new things. The reason it is the easiest is because we have more access to information than ever before. We can find the answers, guidance, and tactics needed to fuel our change all a the tap of a finger!

Some things to consider for the knowledge stage:

  1. Don’t make it quick – what I mean is, don’t spend an hour researching and think you’ve got it all down. Saturate yourself with information about the area you want to change. Look up multiple sources, read multiple articles, watch multiple videos. If you want to change your financial situation than saturate yourself in fiance content. If you want get healthy, saturate yourself in heath content. The more facts, perspectives, insights, and tactics you can glean, the better!
  2. Don’t take too long – I realize this seems like a contradiction from what I just wrote but it’s not, hear me out: The longer you take the less likely you are to follow through. Change favors those who implement with speed. Now before you argue with me and try to point out that gaining knowledge takes a long time let me just go ahead and call “baloney”! Don’t browse Facebook or Instagram, read an article, read a book, read a blog. Forget the Netflix binge, watch a Ted Talk, Documentary, or YouTube video that doesn’t involve cats! Instead of listening to morning and afternoon radio shows in your car, listen to a book, speech, or pod cast. Make your time count, maximize it.

If we don’t gain the right information our change process can be skewed, if we take too long gaining said information our change process can be halted before it ever starts!\

Questions to ask ourselves for gaining knowledge:

1. Do I know someone who is an expert in the area I want to change? – If you know someone pick their brain, ask them how they started, ask them what isn’t commonly known, but insanely impactful. My suggestion is that before you go and meet with your expert friend, have a list of your questions written down ahead of time.

2. How much do I need to know in order to get started effectively? – A lot of times we know enough to make ourselves dangerous or get us into trouble. Write down what you do know, and then make a list of what you need to know to fill in the gaps. This will refine your search process.

3. When I will I research? – Access to information is not our problem. If we have a smart phone and internet access we have all the information available to us we could ever want. The problem we tell ourselves is that we don’t have enough time, which is a blatant lie! We have time, we just haven’t allocated it properly. When you identify and set aside a time to do a task, we are more likely to accomplish it!

A recommended resource is the book The Accidental Creative: How to be brilliant at a moments notice!

If you want to know how to best saturate yourself with information and then utilize that information, this is the book to read!

So tell me, do you: A) Dive into something with limited knowledge to find yourself in over your head – or – B) Get paralysis by analysis and get caught in the “gathering information” stage forever?!

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Leading Change: A Formula For Change

Jim Rohn #Change

I hate change, I don’t hate the idea of change; I just hate the cost of change and the discomfort it causes!

** BTW: If you expected to read a sugar coated article about how “change is great” and “you should love change” you’re reading the wrong content! **

Change is painful, change makes me admit that I am inadequate and incomplete! Change says that in order to achieve more I have to do more, and doing more is tiring! But here is the thing, being worn out from crap you don’t care about versus being worn out from working towards your desires feels completely different. There is a sense of satisfaction. A sense of pride. A sense of “I can actually do this!” Oh, and if you thought this was about leading others through change, again you may be disappointed, while this formula will work with others, this is more about you and me than it is anyone else. That’s the first thing about leading change, your mind set has to be: “change starts with me first!” If you can’t lead yourself through change you have no place and certainly no hope leading anyone else through it!

In his book, Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell says that if we are to lead in change we must “know two important requisites: Knowing the technical requirements of the change, and understanding the attitude and motivational demands for bringing it about.” Asked personally – Do I know how to change and Are my heart and mind aligned to actually facilitate change?  If I/you can’t answer yes to both of these questions, the likelihood of actually achieving change is slim to none!

As if change wasn’t hard enough now you’re being told that you need to actually know what to do and have the right mindset to do it!

But when you break the model for change down into a formula and answer the corresponding questions our ability to change and achieve the things we desire become more realistic!

The Formula:

Knowledge + Desire + Determination = Change

Knowledge tells us how to change, Desire tells us why to change, and Determination allows us to break through change!

In the following post I will be breaking down each variable to the equation for a deeper level of understanding and the questions we should be asking ourselves!

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Oscar Munoz – Lessons In Leadership

“To perceive is to suffer” – Aristotle

One of the greatest tools, if not the greatest tool, in a leader’s tool box is empathy. It allows a leader to see, hear, and feel what others feel; allowing that leader the ability to effectively communicate with their team or anyone else. This tool is most effective in a crisis situation where most people aren’t sure what they should do or even say. Empathy allows a leader to see what is truly going on and to speak to the emotions of their listeners.

EmpathyThis is where, in my opinion, Mr. Munoz has room to grow. His initial statement was one of distance both from the incident and the public’s perception of the incident. Regardless of all the other factors, a leader must understand how others feel. It is my opinion, based on his initial statement, that Mr. Munoz did not have this understanding; he should have thought through how the customer who was dragged off the plane felt, how the other three customers who were voluntold felt, how those witnessing the incident in person felt, how those who were watching the video online felt, all of this before he crafted and gave his statement – not because United was in the wrong, but because the responsibility to manage and maintain the company’s image and effectively their profits during this time stops with him!

Had Mr. Munoz placed himself in all of these positions (again, I’m assuming he did not) and allowed himself to feel what others felt, he undoubtedly would have crafted a different initial statement and not been under such scrutiny. To make matters worse, Mr. Munoz’s follow-up statement seems more reactive than genuine; there is a sense of damage control felt in between the breaths it takes to read them. When we truly empathize with others who are suffering, our words focus more on them then they do ourselves – have you read Mr. Munoz’s follow up statements to the incident?

Read The Washington Post’s take on the irony of Mr. Munoz being nominated communicator of the year!


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Manning & Newton – Lessons In Leadership

Franking quote on reputation #reputation #character #quote

While it maybe unfair, it is leadership

A leader’s good reputation is not built by an individual, impressive moment, but rather by consistent and consecutive impressive moments. It is these moments that frame who we believe our leader to be; it is these moments that filter our perception, and if a leader has stayed true to who he said he is, and who we believe him to be, then we are willing to follow and defend him.

But what happens when a leader, who has had so many consistent moments of greatness, has a moment of failure? Our society and culture today are those of extremes, we acquit or execute all before the trial. However, that is the price of leadership. Right or wrong a leader’s hard-fought reputation is undone with a single action. Just look at both Cam Newton and Peyton Manning for examples.

All year long Cam Newton was a one man highlight reel. Giving children touch down footballs, having a different dance or handshake for each task accomplished, or even his victorious “dab.” The media couldn’t get enough of him, and fans ate up every moment of his flash and swagger. Cam Newton’s Panthers stroll to Super Bowl 50 with a regular season record of 15 and 1, and have the NFL’s most electrifying offense, one the Media has dubbed, Cam’s offense. And then the unthinkable happens, the man who has a dance for every occasion is left with out a reason to boogie. For most fan’s outside of the Carolina’s, they’re OK with that. Cam is a young quarterback and has plenty of time to win the big game – and Manning gets to go out, presumably, on top. Fast forward through all of the confetti and awkward Bud references to the post game interviews. Cam, who has been all smiles all season, has no reason to smile. He has lost. He came ever so close, and lost. Bombarded with questions about his decisions through out the game and why his team couldn’t win, Cam just gets up, announces he is done, and walks out. In this moment, every dance move, every football tossed to a kid, and every smile flashed after a game are all forgotten. Cam’s inability to “Man Up” and face the hard questions have now defined his entire season.

The other Super Bowl 50 quarterback had a different post game experience. Peyton Manning, thought of as one of the classiest players in the NFL lived up to that expectation. Every reporter who spoke with Manning as soon as the game was finished asked the same question: “are you going to retire,” and rather than make that moment about him and his legacy, Manning politely excused the question and put the focus back on his Denver Bronco team mates. It wasn’t until a week after Super Bowl 50 that an allegation against Peyton Manning, while he was in college that had seemingly been buried, started to resurface. Allegations of sexual abuse, slander, lying, and bullying – all from the NFL’s perfect Peyton. No one is asking if Manning will retire, the only question anyone is asking is “can this be true?” “is this really our Peyton Manning?”

Whether a public moment for all of the world to see at the end of your season, or a private moment at the beginning of your career – all it takes is one moment to tarnish the reputation you spent a season, or even a career, building.



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