Positive and successful change means leaders must have the courage to risk and shake the world up a little.
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 and never gave the correct time. Everybody kept complaining about it and what a waste it was to have the clock hanging on the wall.
Finally I pointed to someone and said, 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. Just then, a young woman got up, pushed her chair over to the wall, opened up the clock and changed it to the correct time.
And that’s all it takes to be an agent of change.
It’s someone willing to overcome the first three seconds of fear, willing to be a beginner, willing to say, I’m going to do something that’s different and change it”.
SO HOW CAN YOU BECOME A CHANGE AGENT? BECOMING THE CLOCK-CHANGER?
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Flexibility. Leaders are flexible 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 receive complaints and view them as constructive feedback or suggestions for better solutions.
Change should be manageable. Leaders understand that most people can be resistors to change. In fact, they know that some people are dead set against it. However, most people are more willing to say “yes” to clear, manageable changes as opposed to large, confusing and complicated ones.