Tag Archives: Change

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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Leadership is: Opportunity

If only recognizing opportunities were that easy!

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” – Mark Twain

As I was graduating college Marla and I were faced with choosing between two great opportunities. We had been through two interviews, for two different churches, and had been offered both jobs. Choosing the opportunity that was right for the both of us was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make. Through much praying, weighing of the options, and getting Marla’s take on the the opportunities (Dave Ramsey talks about the benefit of seeking your spouse’s input in his book EntreLeadership), we made a decision.

We are no longer serving at that church, but we do believe we made the right choice. We learned so much in the two years we were there, and it help set us on the path we’re on today!

When it comes to opportunity we must be able to do 3 things:

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Leadership is: Listening

Hearing words is not the same as understanding them.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” – Ralph Nichols (interesting interview w/ Ralph Nichols)

Beneficial communication consist of two parts: sharing & receiving. It seems for most, that sharing, or talking, is far easier for the average person than receiving, or listening, is.  Also, since we’ve already discussed some healthy sharing habits in an earlier post, lets look at some healthy listening habits.

1. Forming a response, while another person is sharing, is not listening. Conversations move quickly, and they move even faster when more people are involved. It is possible that if we don’t form our response quickly we will miss our opportunity to share our insight. The problem with this perception is that our listening is still about us. Listening must be about the other person. If the conversation passes us by, and we believe our thought/response is beneficial, we can revisit it in the conversation, or say it later to the person one on one.

This leads us to our next habit:

2. Processing, or contextualizing, what another person is saying is crucial for communication. When we combine prior and current information we’ve received from the person with whom we are communicating, it allows us to understand better what it is they are saying. Also, we must listen to HOW they are saying it. It has been said that two-thirds of all communication is non-verbal. If this is true, we must listen to their tone and watch their body language. Paul Ekman discusses this practice in his book: Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life

Finally:

3. Forming our response should not be based on who we are, but rather who the speaker is. We share with the hope that people will respond to what we’ve shared, others are no different. We must format our responses based on who they are so that one, they know they’ve been heard and two, so we can give a proper response. While this doesn’t seem to be an outright listening habit, the reality is we must listen to find out what type of person they are. This way our response can be a proper one.

This 2007 Bloomberg Business Week article has some more great leadership listening suggestions!

What listening habits help you listen better

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