“The reason many leaders hate to change is because change is hard.”
— Mark Cole
Surveys have shown that a high percentage of people generally hate change. A closer look at their responses reveals that it isn’t necessarily the change they dislike; having to change themselves is the issue. People do not like being forced to change.
I have often stated, “If we do not bring the necessary challenges to our people, we will not bring the needed changes to our organizations.” The most significant changes must begin in our thinking.
James Allen, in his book As A Man Thinketh, says, “Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves. Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
Possible Challenges in 2024
Entrepreneurs’ Organization, in INC. wrote, “How you lead your team through change can make the difference between business survival or extinction…
Are you an entrepreneur who is reluctant to embrace change? Consider the following:
Within the span of 15 years, 52 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 51 percent of the FTSE 100 have disappeared from their respective lists.
The average organizational lifespan is now 18 years.
Why do some businesses survive while others fail? One argument is that successful companies--and their leaders--accept that change is inevitable, while others don’t.” (1)
Staying Power Requires Change
Sandra Kay Reynolds, Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team, writes, “…Successful leaders know how to change their minds. It is an exercise in self-awareness. They do the three things that John (Maxwell) did.
Leaders examine their long-held beliefs. We all hold onto beliefs that not only do not serve us but can hinder our ability to lead effectively. Some were imprinted by situations and circumstances that are outdated or unrelated to the leadership challenges before you today. This is the most difficult step in the process of changing your mind.
We are all biased about ourselves. It is vital to be able to recognize when a lesson learned long ago may not apply to the current circumstances. John saw that his belief was biased because of one situation. His willingness to challenge that belief led to the discovery of a leadership practice that has multiplied his effectiveness as a leader.
Leaders analyze the situation. They look for where their belief does not fit the current set of circumstances. “We’ve always done it this way” isn’t a guarantee that you’re doing it the best way. Be open to new thinking that enables you to move your organization forward. Look to others for ideas that might not come to you.
Someone else may have the very solution that is needed. Being the leader doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. Many times, I have heard Mark Cole, the CEO of the John Maxwell Co., say, “I don’t want to be right. I want to get it right.” A leader finds the right solution for the situation and acts accordingly.
Leaders are willing to change their mind. Another word for this is growth. All successful leaders are willing to grow and change for the benefit of their business or organization. My favorite John Maxwell quote is, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” A leader sees that the growth of their organization begins inside themselves. It takes intentionality and work to be better today than you were yesterday.
In today’s world, the things that move your business forward only work in the short term. It is up to the leader to create a business environment where growth is embraced and celebrated. Strong leaders model the importance of growth in their organization through their willingness to change their mind.” (2)
In Closing, Many people favor the familiar patterns of normalcy; its consistency provides security. Becoming too comfortable with the status quo can cause leaders to miss the indicators of inevitable change.
(1) INC. “The Psychology of Leading Change (Versus Merely Managing It)” By Entrepreneurs’ Organization https://rb.gy/hzifd
(2) “The Leading Edge: The Importance of Changing Your Mind” by Sandra Kay Reynolds https://rb.gy/ihj7i
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***