Many organizations and communities thrive for positive change. But for positive change to happen we need leaders who are willing and able to move and shake things around.
There are two kinds of people when change occurs. Either you are waiting for change, complaining that someone else needs to fix it or you are part of the driving force to make things happen in your organization or community.
Here is a great story from Jeff Hayzlett, the former Chief Marketing Officer for Kodak that illustrates how leaders think:
“There was a clock on the wall that was always off, it was never right. And everybody kept complaining about it and complaining about it and always talking about it and what a waste of time and so forth and so on.
And I said, well finally I pointed to someone and I said, well, why don’t you do something about it? And they said, well, we have to call maintenance and we don’t know who to call and you know, going on and on and on.
Finally, some young woman got up, pushed her chair over to the wall, stood up on the chair, opened up the clock and changed it. And that’s what it takes to be an agent of change.
It’s someone willing to overcome the first three seconds of fear, be willing to be a beginner, you know, be willing to say, I’m going to do something that’s different and change it. And that’s all it takes.
And that was the difference between a leader and someone who was going to sit around and complain and bitch and moan.”
Take initiative. Make it happen. Don’t wait for someone else to take over or to offer to help you out. Do you want to improve your relationship with someone? Do you want to change the way you react to demanding situations? Do you want to change an aspect of your current job? Whatever it is you want to change you won’t get very far without taking immediate action.
Create an environment for change. There is nothing more discouraging than trying to create change in an environment that is not conducive to it. Be open and receptive to feedback so you can get a buy-in for change.
Agility. Catalysts are agile by nature. They can quickly change direction, refocus and get back on track when they need to. They are not deterred by opposition, they can take complaints and view them as constructive feedback or suggestions for better solutions.
Make change manageable. Catalysts understand that most people are resisted to change, in fact they know that some people are dead set against it. However, most people are more willing to say “yes” to small, clear, manageable changes as opposed to large, confusing and complicated ones.