Given that our name is Agents of Change we often get asked what it takes to be one.
Agents of Change reveal themselves in many ways: some are loud, shouty and obvious and others are quiet and stealth-like. Regardless of their style, change is always the result.
So how do unleash the Agent of Change in you?
Agents of Change are very clear about the future they see and articulate it in a way that brings that vision to life for others. Martin Luther King didn’t say ‘I have a strategy’, he said ‘I have a dream’ and then went on to describe, using visual language, what that world would look like. In doing so, that vision of the future took life in the minds of others.
In 'Man's search for Meaning' Viktor Frankl describes the rapid decline of fellow inmates in the Nazi Concentration Camps when they lost their reason for living. If you are absolute clear WHY you are doing something, that purpose is a source of energy and motivation; it will enable you to dig deep when you need to.
Change is hard and frequently takes much longer than we expect. Tenacity is like focus and commitment amplified, giving you the resolve to keep going when others might be flagging. Of course in order to maintain your energy, you need to know what fuels and restores it.
How frequently do we hear contestants on Master Chef or Bake Off tell us that it's their passion for food that drives them. Emotion is hugely important in driving our behaviour, so Agents of Change fall in love with the change they are seeking. And their passion is infectious, inspiring others to join their cause.
Agents of Change are well connected. They invest in relationships before they 'need' them, forming strong bonds with people. And that means they can be assured that help is always at hand.
The ability to articulate a strong, well conceived case for change is a core skill of an Agent of Change. You have to be able to see all sides of the idea and adapt your communication to the differing needs of those around you to convince them, hearts and minds, to join you.
No one of these skills on its own is enough. Tenacity without Influence, for example, can just be over bearing! It's the balance of these attributes that creates an Agent of Change.
- So if you were to score yourself out of 10 (0 = low, 10 = high), how do you measure up?
- What could you do to up your scores by one or two in each category?