I’ve seen numerous change efforts fail due to not checking what one leader believes about one’s change and transformation.
Great, useful beliefs are drivers for change actions and transformation efforts. So, let’s decipher them.
I don’t hold the absolute truth about me, I need feedback.
You only hold your perspective about you. Feedback from others is crucial. If people hold the absolute truth about themselves, how come they do not change when they want? Because they have blind spots. And these blind spots are our comfort zone.
I will still be ‘me’ after the change
You will not change in the sense of inauthenticity. You will just embrace and transcend who you are now. People do not change like spare parts (by replacement); people transform, they become more.
I need allies for my change to happen
You can not beat the odds of change resistance only by yourself. Any ally is great. Any one you ask to hold you by your hand when you cross the harsh period of transformation is good. You need allies of the best quality: your dearest ones, the ones loving you unconditionally but firmly enough to challenge you.
It’s not always true that my efforts to change are going to be rewarded
Life is not fair. Look around. You worked hard and if you are not the first to celebrate, others will not do it. Wait no more for recognition of your changes. Do transform for your own sake.
The change will trigger new necessary changes
Fact is change and transformation never ceases. Life and business are volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). There are no borders or stop signs on your transformation path. Daily encounters change you bit by bit each day, in an unconscious way. What you can expect is only you can be more structured, aware and purposeful in your transformation.
My change might not be permanent
A leadership development plan or program is not a pause in time, put in brackets; it should be viewed as a natural continuation of your current way of leading to a future one, expanding the first. A proper mindset is to view such a plan as a more organic change, a change in your leadership ‘lifestyle’. Get fit or stay fit forever?
There’s hard work in change
I saw people change in an instant and I saw leaders not change too much after 8 months of hard work. There’s too much complexity in a transformation to be able to put it in an absolute formula. What remains is simple: work hard to have chances to an instant change. Our ‘leadershiplans’ are meant to put you to work through daily practices and routines of transformation.
I will be distracted on my path to change
Yes, you will. You are not going to be in a bubble, away from any disturbances. You can not hope for better. Take it as it is. All the retreats and 2 weeks offsite leadership courses supposedly are meant to create this ‘growth and deep learning space’ but they are useless if not followed by daily routines and on the job practice.
Time for change has already passed
If there’s no urgency in you to transform, refrain from starting a leadership development plan. Truth is time for change is now. There’s no proper time. A leadership development program is not ‘semester 1, high school’; it is not ‘school time’, is ‘learning time’. And we learn daily.
I will be tired and my drive will dilute
Certainly. You just have to pay attention to your biorhythm, organize special hours for learning immersion and intense practice. In his bestseller ‘The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Maths, Art, Music, Sport, and Just about Everything Else’, Daniel Coyle has several tips on how to learn deeply. One is about intensity (instead of the more popular regularity). Catch the momentum and learn.
I need help and structure for the change to happen
Yes. That is our mission at Leadershiplan. People rarely change in the desired direction by their own willpower, ambition and without planning.
I need higher stakes and references
Many times we set lower stakes as reference: ‘At least I’m better than X’. The proper mindset here is ‘I am better than myself yesterday’ or ‘I want to reach the level of X’. Higher stakes, humility, and drive: these are key.
Change has to happen now
1st of January. All good. 2nd of January – still good. 3rd of January – ‘maybe I can skip today’s [change action], it’s a ‘special’ day’. You know what I mean. Change has to burn you each day. Your ‘mindset dictionary’ should not contain words like ‘exception’, ‘delay’, ‘postpone’ or ‘special day’. A ‘special day’ is the day transformation dies.
I don’t have enough willpower
You do not and you are no exception. Everyone has a limited spring of willpower and no one can control its flow. The key in transformation is not the willpower, but patience,
I have to change, not to understand the change first
If you need to understand change, you are me. I have to understand it because this is my job and my passion: to understand how people change and then help you do it. The need for understanding is usually a need for control of the process, a fear of letting go and a procrastination.