Mr. Mike has a great leadership post for us today reminding us how difficult change is for us humans. As leaders, quite often we are the people within the organization who need to lead a change (of something). In his post below, Mike provides us with a eight-step recipe we can use to lead change in our organizations.
To: The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning
In a recent article, Philip Humbert, leadership coach, shares his thoughts on “A Master’s Recipe for Dealing with Change.” He quotes Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist, who writes: “In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do you ever find them.” Pressing the limits involves change which, given our beautiful human nature, sometimes is difficult. To help great leaders go to a higher, more successful level in the change process, he suggests his eight-step recipe.
Step 1: Acknowledge that change involves. . .change! Habits die hard. The brain has tried-and-true neural pathways that mostly serve us well and make life easier and efficient for us. That’s actually a very good thing! But when we try to change our habits (neural pathways), the brain resists. Take this normal resistance seriously, admit it exists, and use powerful strategies to install new habits. If we don’t do this first step, in the end, old habits will return.
Step 2: Be PRECISE about the change you want. Generalities and hopes to “do better” won’t cut it. Decide exactly what you want, what it will look like, and how you will measure your progress. Skipping the few minutes it takes to do this step carefully and thoroughly is a setup for failure. Be precise! Define the exact change you want. Remember, clarity is power!
Step 3: Lists the COSTS of not changing. What will it cost you over a lifetime to continue your old habit? Will you die younger? Will you be poorer or more frustrated or have less integrity? Again, do not skip this step! There are reasons (important, vital reasons) you want to change. Write them down.
Step 4: List the ADVANTAGES of making the change you want. How will you (and your loved ones) benefit from this change? Will you be richer, stronger, live longer, be happier, or healthier? Will you be more fulfilled? Will you have greater integrity or achieve more in life? What are the real, tangible benefits from making this change? List them all!
Step 5: DECIDE the change is worth it! Make the commitment. Design systems and strategies for success. Think it through and be very clear that the “new you” is going to happen, and quickly! Being “interested” or hopeful, or wishing for change is not enough. Assess the costs and advantages, then decide.
Step 6: Be ACCOUNTABLE. Tell people about the change you are making and ask them to monitor your progress. Ask family and loved ones to be your cheerleaders. Report on your progress (and, if appropriate, on your failures) and use your support team to cheer you on. Get a coach! Fitness is easy if your best friend, a loved one, or your entire team is waiting for you at the gym! Be accountable!
Step 7: CHART your progress. Post your weight on the refrigerator door. Post your monthly budget where the family can see it. Use graphs and pictures to mark your progress and get feedback from people who care about your success.
Step 8: CELEBRATE! Too many people skip or forget this key step! As you hit your benchmarks or when you are convinced the new habit is successfully installed, have a family celebration! Mark your victories! Change is hard and when you’ve achieved it, you deserve a BIG reward, a victory celebration and a HAPPY DANCE! Do this. It will make everything easier.
Jean De La Fontaine, 17th century French poet, wrote: “Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.” Fill your soul with fire and change the world. And if there is any doubt that causes you to pause remember the caution of W. Edwards Deming, author, professor and father of the quality revolution: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” Choose wisely; choose well.
Have a beautiful day and an extraordinary week!!!
Michael M. Reuter
Director, Center for Leadership Development
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University
Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528