Leadership Lesson: Why is Change So Hard?

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

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Albert Einstein coined the adage “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The reality is that people love the status quo. It is usually correlated with our love for comfort. This is why sometimes, as people get older, it is harder to change (or believe in change) because change has too much risks involved.

When we think about change, it creates feelings within a person that are not greatly desired. Change causes people to feel uncertainty, insecurity, and uncomfortability. This goes antithesis to what we love – certainty, comfort, and safety.

Usually change comes when it is forced upon us. It can be a crisis or a situation where we have no choice but to change. But change can also come when people are able to envision a better life or a better way. To communicate the potential and the possibility of a better future takes great leadership. It is not an easy task.

But change is possible.

Here are some things to consider (the 5 D’s):

1) Detect the need. It is imperative that there is a recognition of the required change. Unless people are able to see the importance of the change, they will go into default mode, which is always status quo.

2) Describe the future. The leader must be able to clearly communicate what the future could and would look like if the change occurs. So often leaders try to explain the need for change with the gloom and doom approach but this does not motive people (maybe for a brief period but not for the length required to bring change). It should always be in the positive tone and attitude.

3) Design actionable steps. Too often change does not happen because a lot of the ideas are stuck in theory rather than in the execution of the strategy or goals. The more practical and step-by-step they are, the easier it will be to move towards the desired change.

4) Dialogue. It is important to keep the communication lines open with the members or people in your organization. Whether it is answering questions or even discussing some new ideas that have not been discovered yet, it is always helpful to be in communication.

5) Determination towards the future. Change always requires a strong resolve. Results sometimes take time; therefore it is crucial that we do not lose the focus or the goal for change. It is so easy to give up, but something that helps to stay on course is to re-picture the future that was originally placed in your heart.

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