In life we have to make choices. In business, we need to list tasks in order of priority. But beware that we don’t exclude certain things because of this. When most people think of priorities, they think of this or that. They think about which choice they will make, and as a result, what will go undone.
Personal growth is often defined as the ability to reach out and claim parts of ourselves that have been previously ignored—or worse, hated and ignored. We often undervalue or even disavow personal traits simply because they remind us of someone, something, or sometime that is unpleasant to us. It can be because we never felt confident in a particular area, or we were so focused in one area that we thought the other was a waste of time and energy.
There are various ways to bring about change in people but forcing them to change has never been successful in the long run. Humans are not very good at intentionally and systematically changing other people’s beliefs, practices, or habits, particularly en masse in an organizational setting. At a fundamental level, the term managed change can be an oxymoron.
Real leaders in life know that they actually have very little control over the people in their organizations and even less regarding what goes on around and outside their organization. While they may be rightfully concerned with the stability and control of the situation, it is not about being controlling. It is about having an organization that is designed to provide its own control, without trying to control the people within it. The key to this approach is in recognizing and honoring choice in their engagement with people.
As in writing, what the author intends and what the reader interprets can be two different things. Perceptions are important and we need to understand how they work. There is a huge amount of inference that occurs between our thoughts and another person’s understanding of those thoughts. People listen to us talk about vision, but they see and hear it through a filter of experience. Whatever we say and do goes through the filter of reality. We filter information and do not even know it is happening. How this translates into leadership behavior.
Getting people to take action can be driven by different means. Prodding or threatening them can produce results. But are they the type of results you want? Creating a vision and leading people to action produces better and longer-lasting benefits. The most effective change efforts put vision in the center and work to align people around that direction. By working to achieve a unified sense of shared vision, you create a collective movement toward a shared aspiration.
You are the leader and will naturally attract a response from your colleagues. But what are they thinking? And what are you thinking about them and their response? It is important to think about how others will perceive what we are doing or where we are going. Each person will interpret us differently, and we will interpret each individual through our favorite systems. If we expect people to resist change or our ideas, we inform our subconscious that whatever we see as resistance is a meaningful whole, and our sensing systems will find it.
You tread a fine line as leader. You want to have your colleagues move but through inspiration. You want the right type of change. This comes back to you and the type of person you are. People do not want a change leader to be a boss or a driver; they seek a person who is inspired and committed to a path toward a more highly desirable place. They want a leader who is dedicated and who cares about them as much as they do themselves. People want a change leader who has committed to much more than the goal or objective.