Generating Urgency: What’s Keeping You from Changing?

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Generating Urgency: What’s Keeping You from Changing?

You know what you need to do, don’t you? In fact, you have probably known for a while.

So what’s holding you back? My go-to excuse is that I’m too busy doing other more urgent tasks. In fact, I have on more than one occasion considered myself to be the poster boy for one of the oldest time management traps in the books – putting off the important to take care of the urgent.

You may have another excuse, but make no mistake, the real culprit in our collective failure to make the changes we want is a lack of urgency.

The willingness and urgency to change are based on emotional readiness not intellectual understanding.

Allow that last statement to sink in for a moment.

If intellectual understanding – knowing what we should do – was all it took to change, the gap between realizing we need to do something different and the work of implementing that change would be non-existent. But that’s not how it works.

When I ask “do things need to change around here” to the organizations with which I work, there is an instantaneous response of “Absolutely.” I am immediately pummeled with responses.

When I ask how long everyone has known these changes need to be made, the answer ranges from months to years to decades.

The same is true for individuals – me included. We all know what we need to do to be happier, healthier, wealthier, and more successful in our relationships. We’ve known for a long time, but change doesn’t happen because of what we know.

The emotional readiness to change ourselves and our organizations comes from one of two places: crisis or opportunity.

Crisis pushes us to change. Opportunity pulls us to change.

Most people and organizations wait on crisis. JCPenney didn’t decide to bring in a new CEO, make radical change, fire the new CEO, and bring back the old CEO because it was having a great year. It happened because years of unacceptable results had left it in a state of crisis.

People operate the same way. We don’t decide to get healthier and lose weight until there is a crisis created by an illness or the reality that our high school reunion is coming up in a month.

What if there was another way?

What if we were continually adapting, growing, and getting better?

We can if there is an opportunity that is so compelling that it is too good to miss.

So what is it for you? What is that thing that is so cool, so much fun, or so important that you will continually change and adapt to achieve it? Once that opportunity is found, the focus automatically moves from the difficulty of the change to the payoff of the success.

You know what you need to do. Now is the time to identify and own the why you must run through walls to do it.

About the Author:

Randy Pennington
Randy Pennington is an award-winning author and a leading authority on helping organizations deliver positive results in a world of accelerating change. To learn more or to hire Randy for your next meeting, visit www.penningtongroup.com or call 972-980-9857.
  • Tom

    Reminds of one of my favorite lines. Persuade with reason, Move with emotion.