“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less” said General Eric Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S Army back in 2003. I feel that was one of the most powerful quotes of the last decade.
Let’s contrast General Shinseki’s statement with another famous phrase – “Nobody likes change but a baby”.
Which statement do you most associate with? Average people, most people, will associate with the latter. However, it’s critical that leaders embrace change. Quite candidly, most of my life I hated change and even went out of my way to avoid it. I associated change with the following:
- Lack Of Control
- Fewer Opportunities
- Negative Momentum
- Loss Of Rights And Benefits
- Loss Of Relationships
- Loss Of Position
However, as leaders, we must always be looking for opportunities for personal growth, to improve our skills, expand our influence, and make a greater difference in the lives of others. Fortunately, one of the areas I have hopefully grown in is embracing the value of change.
Change can be a wonderful gift for leaders. Leaders are in the unique position of often initiating change, rather than reacting to it. Therefore, change allows leaders to:
- Define Your Leadership. Seth Godin says “Managers make widgets. Leaders make change.”
- Make Things Happen.
- Go First.
- Not Ask For Permission.
- Differentiate Yourself From Others.
- Get Ahead Of The Crowd.
- Create Innovative Things They Believe In.
- Be Memorable, Not Average.
- Become A Thought Leader.
- Gain Followers And Expand Influence.
- Be Part Of Thriving Churches And Businesses.
- Be Committed To Mission, Not Maintenance.
- Focus On Their Impact Rather Than Their Position.
- Be Imitated.
- Have Fun.
- Not Regret.
- Not Wonder Why.
- Not Complain.
- Not Settle.
- Change The World.
No one follows average. Sir Francis Bacon once said “If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.” Leaders, are you ready to embrace and take advantage of change…or be forced to react to it?
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