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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Change is good. You go first

"Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction." ~Unknown

 Change is not easy. But it is simple. Things will always change. We don't have a choice about that, but we do have a choice on how we react to change; and as a leader whether or not we choose to create change. The choice really boils down to this...either we manage change or it will manage us.

 As a leader, however, deciding to make changes is the easy part. Getting your people on board is much more difficult. Why is that? Quite simply, change is an emotional process. We are all creatures of habit who usually resist it and welcome routine. Uncharted waters are scary!

 In the long run, however, sameness is the fast tract to mediocrity. And, mediocre companies won't survive. Tuli Kupferburg said it best... "When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge." And, that is your challenge...to convince your team that the new world you are trying to create is better than the one you're in.

Is it easy? Of course not. It takes planning, commitment, patience and courage. The truth, of course, is that change can be a wonderful gift. In fact, it is the key that unlocks the doors to growth and excitement in any organization. And, most importantly, without it...your competition will pass you by.

A big part of success, as a leader, will be your ability to inspire your team to get out of their comfort zones; to assure them that even though they are on a new path, it's the right path, for the right reasons.

 That's what this book is all about....ideas, to inspire, to motivate, and to encourage your team to move forward and to embrace change.

 I'd like to share one of the chapters titled: "Learn from Old Warwick".


  Excerpt from: Change is Good...You Go First By Mac Anderson and Tom Feltenstein

  Learn from Old Warwick

 Fostering a spirit of teamwork is critical in times of change. The key element is trust. Trust for the leader and trust for each other. There is a wonderful story from the play, Some Folks Feel the Rain; Others Just Get Wet; and I think it's worth sharing again to shed some light on how people think about teamwork...

 A man was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to reach for the map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help.

 "Warwick can get you out of that ditch," said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, "Yep, old Warwick can do the job." The man figured he had nothing to lose.

The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins, he shouted, "Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!"

 And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch. The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?"

 The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."

 To watch the movie or to look inside the book, just click here.

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