Six Enemies of Change

Change is a crucial part of life. Change is the only constant we will ever truly know. But, change comes with discomfort. Change is not readily accepted or celebrated. And, change can create conflict and tension. 

As leaders it is important that we understand change, embrace change and work with change to succeed in our journey. 

Here are six enemies of change that can halt or even destroy growth in your organization. 

1. Pride. Pride tends to hold the belief that one way is the best way. Pride can come from anywhere. It can come from us as leaders believing we know best. Pride can come from our team who believes they have the best answers. Overcoming pride means letting go of control and being willing to listen and learn. 

2. Fear. Fear can drive most any aspect of life. But, fear most often comes from a negative emotion and response, and the results tend to be negative as well. When fear drives us, it becomes a hinderance to growth and strength. Face your fears head on, with honest and transparent understanding. 

3. Distrust. You cannot lead through and support your organization through changes without trust. You need trust with your team, your followers and your audience. This requires time, patience and clear communication. Without trust, you will almost never be able to move forward. 

4. Comparison. This is a deadly trap. You will absolutely waste your potential if you are pursuing someone else's dream or vision. And, your success and the success of others will always be different. Comparison is a distraction and drains the necessary energy needed to effectively lead change. 

5. Ignorance. This should be an obvious enemy of change, but it usually is not. If you deal with pride, ignorance is it's closest companion. If you assume your way is best, you will often forego the counsel and wisdom of others. Learn to listen, take time to read and always be willing to admit weakness or failure. 

6. Apathy. This is simply a nice way of saying laziness. This usually happens when a leader assumes that things will never change because "that's the way it's always been done". Nothing will kill the morale and momentum of your team and your organization than apathy. You have to lead change with boldness and energy! 

Have you experienced any of these enemies of change? Are you still wrestling with them right now? What steps will you take to overcome these enemies of change? 

What Defines Great Leaders

Leadership is a complex reality that few people ever understand. I think the primary thing that people equate to leadership is results. Results seem to be the popular measure of great leaders. But, I would challenge that to the point of saying it’s a façade. Real leaders truly are not defined by results and are not responsible for the results. Leaders are not responsible for results. In fact, most true leaders never have a direct impact on the results. Results rest in the hands of the people, the team and the organization as a whole.

So what are leaders responsible for? And, what makes a great leader? 

Let’s start to answer that by first defining what a leader is responsible for. There is one thing that makes a direct impact on the people and the results. There is one thing that determines if your people and team will reach their greatest potential. That one thing is culture. Leaders are solely responsible for creating a great culture! It is culture that will determine the success or failure of a leader. Great culture will unleash the greatest potential in each person in your organization. 

So what creates a great culture? Simple… Relationships. Relationships are the “secret sauce” of any great organization. When your people find out you care, you pay attention to them and you’re genuinely interested in their well-being they will feel secure, loyal and passionate about the organization. Members, employees and volunteers will always give their best when they know you care more about relationships than results. 

When your team experiences these things, you will experience mush less “churn” in your organization. Meaning you will have far less turn over in people. That one thing alone will unleash the potential in your organization. Why? Because the best results come from consistency. Consistency will improve your “customers” experience and interaction with your organization. When your people are consistently present and consistently passionate about your organization your “customers” will notice. That will ultimately generate the results leaders have long believed they are responsible for creating. 

So what makes a great leader? A great leader is someone who makes the hardest transition of all. Great leaders are no longer the people who are “good at their job” but they are the people who now give hope, grace and vision to their team. 

Your greatest product as a leader is not results it is people! 

Great leaders love people, create culture that unleashes their people’s potential and celebrates the wins of others! 

So, as leaders, we would all do well to take a step back and determine if we are good leaders or just people who are good at our jobs!

Building Blocks

There are 3 things within any business that matter most. They are the building blocks on which you build everything. They become your filter for decisions, development and direction. And, if you get these 3 things nailed down you will find far more satisfaction, success and fulfillment in the process. 

So what are they? 

Mission, Vision and Values Yep, that’s it. No, I didn't drop some sort of incredible nugget of truth or a new idea! I am reminding you of the most basic building blocks of leadership, creation and growth. When you focus your energy and center execution on the things that matter most, you will find a greater level of potential. 

So how does one define Mission, Vision, Values? Whats the difference between these 3 building blocks? Here’s how I see it. 

Mission: This is the very core value in you as the leader that drives you to action. This is the passion and urge that was placed deep inside of you that compels you to quit talking and start acting. And, when you decide to package your mission in a way that others can interact, transact and impact…. You will find a win! 

Vision: This is the goal, the result and the outcome you are going to create. This is the way that your team, your customers, your audience or the world will encounter your mission. This is the where an idea becomes a reality through execution. 

Values: This is the heart connection, the glue that holds the process together. Your values inform the culture of your team, company, product and more. The values express what matters to you and what you hope will be valuable to the people who encounter your mission. 

One thing to ALWAYS remember when creating you Mission, Vision and Values…. KEEP IT SIMPLE! 

Making these things lengthy, complicated and obscure will ensure you will never be able to articulate them to the world around you. If they aren’t simple, you can be sure your team, customers and audiences will never have buy in. They need to be easy to receive, easy to remember and easy to repeat. 

So, what does this look like in practicum? 

For our new venture One Pebble I can sum up the Mission, Vision and Values in a single sentence with three words! That’s it…. THREE WORDS! And, those three words express what matters most, they classify what we do and they invite you to interact with us. So, what are those three words? 

WE GIVE HOPE

That’s it! Nothing more. Anyone who encounters One Pebble can easily receive that, remember that and repeat that. And, I can teach it to a new team member, customer or audience member in 10 seconds and they will never forget. 

Our Mission is hope. We want a world who needs the gift of life, the promise of possibility and the power of miracles to find all of those things. And, my internal passion and wisdom has taught me that hope is the very place where those things are born. Our Vision is to give. We want to create generosity as a culture. We want to overcome the power of greed, foster gratitude and tangibly do what we believe is important. Nothing does that better than activating ourselves and those around us to give. Finally, our values are all found in one little word, WE. Why? Because the best things in this world happen when we do life together. To build a great team, company, idea, movement and product you have to have others on the journey. We believe that sharing the joy of hope, the richness of generosity and the celebrating of possibility is far better with others. 

Whether we are sharing these ideas with our founders, a new hire, a new customer or a new audience… We have created a simple, clear and tangible way to express our Mission, Vision and Values. 

Most importantly in all of this… The mission, vision and values always inform our decisions, direction and development. This makes growth, change and stability far easier for us as leaders. Miss this core step in creating your business, and your chances of success are dismal at best! 

The next step in creating a great company comes when you take these ideas and create a common language for your your team, organization and community. Stay tuned for some thoughts on creating a common language.