Five Strategies for Changing Others

Spring budding

It’s “Sprinter” in Central Pennsylvania. Spring isn’t here. Winter hangs on. One day it’s sunny and warm. Yesterday it snowed!

Change comes slowly. Winter won’t let Spring arrive. It’s the time of uncertainty and reluctance.

Change:

Unwilling to change is arrogant resistance, fearful reluctance, or ignorant blindness. Or maybe the present is just fine.

My preference is changing others not me. Changing others enhances potential and extends capacity. Changing others feels like adding new brush strokes to paintings.

Changing me, on the other hand, feels like drilling cavities without Novocain.

Seeing Oz or not:

My focus on the future makes me wonder why you resist change. Can’t you see the glow of Oz just around the corner?

While I see Oz, you’re seeing Kansas and it looks pretty damn good compared to a fuzzy glow in the distance.

Your dreams don’t change others until others dream them.

I think about reaching forward and feel excitement. You think about letting go and feel afraid.

How to change others:

  1. Work on changing you before others. Go no further until you’ve made changes!
  2. Don’t demonize Kansas unless it’s already disappointing. Criticizing an acceptable present to those who built it makes enemies not allies.
  3. Celebrate the people and behaviors that built the present. They build the future. Don’t insult them.
  4. Talk about Oz in the language of Kansas. Connect with their passion to make a difference. Ignite aspirations. Often, inspiring others centers on helping others find courage.
  5. Paint others in the picture. Help them see where they fit in. Connect current passion with future possibility. When people see themselves in the future they find courage to release the past.

Change begins by imagining new futures. Belief in the future releases Spring’s life. But, clinging to the present strengthens Winter’s grip.

How can leaders become effective agents of change?

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