Do you know anyone who doesn’t struggle in some area of their life? It could be success hasn’t come quick enough or maybe not at all. Some struggle with careers, health or relationships. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all struggle with something and that something is change: needing or wanting to have or be something new or different. I work with leaders, followers and everyone in between and something I learned is we all struggle, that includes us. We want or need change and the struggle is when we don’t get it.
The number one reason most of us struggle with change is because we don’t know “how” to change. We weren’t given the manual or instructions showing us “how” to do it. If the brochure were available, the world might be a different place, and I would be out of a job. Luckily for me, the printer ran out of ink and I am busy.
Do you, a member of your team or someone in your organization want or need to change? If so, I have good news. I found the manual along with the process to create change and I want to share it with you. You can have it now, served on a silver platter, or later, gift wrapped and waiting to be opened. Either way, change is yours to have whenever you want it. It’s simple, just not easy.
THE MANUAL FOR CHANGE:
STEP 1: WANT
The first step in having change is to “want” it. Do you want change? Are you ready for change? Will you do what needs to be done to have it? Are you currently willing to invest the time and resources to create it? “Want” is the first step and for a good reason. Without it, the desire for it, change is not possible. Change starts here and goes nowhere without it.
Take a few minutes and sit somewhere quiet. It’s time to be serious and start smart. Ask yourself what kind of change you want. What do you want to be or have? By doing so, will it allow you to be happy and more successful? When the answer is yes, move to the next step.
STEP 2: WHAT
You might want change, but do you know “what” to change? Many of us want change and some of us must change. For us to change, we need to know “what” to change. This stage is critical and most overlooked. When you know what to change, ask yourself, what is important about having it? Spend as much time as necessary, be as specific as you can and as clear as possible. What change do you want and why?
Choose something you truly want to change, something which will help you be better at whatever it is you want to be better at. You might consider inviting others to help you choose, a sponsor or someone, to be your accountability partner. This person will give you valuable feedback, provide suggestions and hold you accountable. Having others involved shows you are serious and that the change you want is important. Going on stage is not easy and it helps us grow and be on our best behavior.
STEP 3: HOW
Create a plan. The process for change is simple and all you need to do is follow the steps. Knowing “how” to change can be the difference which makes the difference. By having a plan, you are creating a process, removing risk and increasing your chances for success. Follow your steps and change will move from possible to likely.
KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. The plan should be easy to read and simple to follow. It must have the change you want to have along with your action steps- the things you must be doing to have whatever it is you want to have. It is no different than baking a cake. Follow the directions and your mouth will water. Don’t follow the directions and the cake goes in the garbage.
STEP 4: TIME
Good things take time and you are no exception. I have witnessed good people wanting change, being clear about the change they want to have, knowing how to have it and why it’s important, to later fail because they didn’t give it a chance. They convinced themselves it wasn’t possible and maybe even cursed the process. Change is simple if you follow the steps. It’s not easy because we are dealing with people, egos, beliefs and all those good things. Change is simple if you let it be simple and give it time.
When working on yourself, be easy. Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. Allow yourself enough time to do what needs to be done to have the change you want to have. If change is important, and likely it is, you might consider investing enough time to be sure that you are getting it right.
We all struggle with things in our lives, both professionally and personally. I would like to share my struggle and hope you are inspired to share yours.
STEP 1: Do I want change?
Yes, I want change. I want to be more productive, successful and happy. When I am happy, my clients have a better experience as well as everyone else around me. Yes, I am willing to invest my time, make available all resources and do whatever is necessary to change. I am in!
STEP 2: What do I change?
I am struggling with something now. It’s my phone and I want to be on it less. If you catch me at a good time, like now, I will admit it. The excuse: I am on it for work. I am available for clients and partners and don’t want to miss anything. Therefore, I am on it checking things I have already checked and looking at things I have already looked at and most likely don’t need to be looking at. Who am I kidding? It’s clear to me what I need to change. I will share this with my family and ask them to pay attention and hold me accountable. They will provide feedback and give suggestions. They may even change themselves. That’s a bonus and something we can talk about another time. I struggle with this, along with other things, and I want to change.
STEP 3: How do I change?
Ok, I want change and I know what to change. So, how do I change? Let me ask myself how. Hold a moment……. OK, here is what I have to say. To be on my phone less and be more present I should consider:
1- Leaving my phone on the table, by the front door, when I come in.
2- When it rings or if I get a message or email, I can answer. When finished, put the phone back.
3- When going to bed, the phone remains downstairs, on the table by the front door. I am up early, and the world will be ok with me not on my phone.
4- When using my phone, ask myself what the purpose is of what I am about to do, an estimate of how long I intend to be and when complete, put the phone back on the table.
Four things to do is enough to start. I can add more later. All I have to do is do what’s on my list and check in with others to see how well I am doing. Simple? Yes, and I am sure it won’t be easy.
STEP 4: Time
I want to change, know what to change and how to change. That makes the last step easy, right? In theory, yes, but life is not theory, it’s real. I am going to give myself ninety (90) days and check in with my family every week, ask what they notice and see how I am doing.
I chose a personal example of change to showcase this process and how simple it can be to implement. I want to change and be better. It’s important to me and when I get better so does everyone around me.
I enjoy working with people like you and me- successful people who want to be more successful. If you or a member of your organization is struggling and wants to be better, reach out and let’s explore what’s possible. The only problem you may have is you didn’t do it sooner.
*Disclaimer: Experience change at your own risk. Individuals or groups may experience side effects including but not limited to periods of: success, happiness, fulfillment and/or being a part of something greater than themselves.
Enjoy the ride!
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Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach