Why did you write a book about change? The host of a recent radio interview was being polite and, I suspect, genuinely interested. But the question is an important one—a quick search on Amazon.com found over 150,000 book titles that have something to do with change. Let’s assume that some of those titles are duplicates for hardcover, paperback, Kindle, etc. That still leaves thousands of books written on the subject. Aren’t those enough? The short answer is, “No.”
Scott Keller and Carolyn Aiken, consultants at McKinsey & Company, suggest that 80 percent of what leaders care about and talk about when trying to enlist support for change does not matter to 80 percent of the workforce. To gain the commitment for the change that you want, you must connect with people where they are. You do that by making the change relevant and real.
Another blog post about change? Really? The last three I posted aren't enough? How about the thousands of other books, blogs, and articles on the subject? I am with you. I don’t need to hear another message that changes are coming and I need to get on board. And yet, we are confronted with this reality: Most of our efforts to make change work don’t work as well as we had hoped … or even at all.
“When will things get back to normal?” That question has been asked countless times since the economic meltdown of 2008. Most people want to know when the job market will bounce back; the economy will return to something close to sustained growth; uncertainty will subside; or the rate of change will slow to a more manageable pace. But, what if this is it? What if instability, rapid change, and uncertainty are the new normal? And, what if I’m wrong and things bounce back quickly? If you can succeed now, you will crush it then.
The old-fashioned view of mentoring is someone outside a learner’s chain of command who equips that learner with new skills and knowledge. It is an archaic expert to novice or smart to unwise philosophy. The goal is the transfer of information or expertise, much like pouring knowledge into the head of a passive learner. It is the model that antiquated teachers used to teach facts students only recalled long enough to score favorably on the test.
You own your logo and marketing message. Your customers own your brand relevance in the marketplace. And when your customers say you are irrelevant, no amount of advertising, positive press, or sales promotions will convince them otherwise. Two iconic American brands are proving that every day.
Have you ever watched a leader make a decision or take an action and think, “They ought to know better.” I find that sentiment to be especially true when it comes to people issues. Leaders ought to know how to motivate others. They ought to know how to treat people with respect and act with honesty. They ought to know how to take action and make good decisions. That is where Phillip Van Hooser comes in. Phil knows what leaders ought to know, and he shares it in his new book, Leaders Ought to Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership.
Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results is loaded with practical examples and compelling stories of how individuals, companies, and entire communities have decided to distinguish themselves through service to others.
Random acts of wow are wonderful. Do them. But that’s not where you’ll win or lose the game. Don’t think that some once-a-year special thing that you do ever takes the place of being the best at what matters most consistently.
My December 31, 2012 social media post drew a lot of likes and one great question. Here is the post: We shouldn’t fear getting old. We should fear becoming disconnected, unaware, and irrelevant. The response from friends, fans, and followers was great because of the age span represented. I heard from people in their twenties and people in their sixties. Here’s the great question I received: How do you change your mindset to keep from becoming disconnected, unaware, and irrelevant?