Depending on your personality you have probably asked one of the following questions when it comes to change. See if you can can identify with any of them.
1. “I love change, when can we start?”
2. “I like change, can we wait to start?”
3. “I loath change, do we have to start?”
All great questions! All express our attitude or feelings about change and believe it or not, that's good! Now that you have identified your change awareness I want to suggest 5 other questions you should ask BEFORE you change something.
1. Am I Willing To Commit To The Long Haul?
In my experience change doesn’t happen overnight. If it does we usually call that a miracle. Change is forged over time by leaders who hang in there and stick with it to the end. Winston Churchill describes the willing determination of the bulldog. “The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.” You will need the commitment of a bulldog to see change to the end.
2. Am I Called To Do This?
There is a certain resiliency that comes with knowing you are called to do something. A calling helps you crash through quitting points when they arise. A calling reminds you that the changes you are about to implement are making a difference in the lives of others. A calling reminds you that God’s power is available in you because He has empowered you to make the change.
3. Am I Willing To Pay The Price?
Not everyone likes change (see question 3 above) and to be perfectly honest, my favorite kind of change is the kind that doesn’t effect me. Don’t get me wrong. I like to lead change, implement change, start change. I love it when a good plan comes together and lives are changed for the better but I must remind you, there is a cost to leading change. How deep is your “Leading Change Bank Pocket” these days? Leading change has a way of making an emotional withdrawal on occasion. Are you prepared to pay the emotional price?
4. Am I Willing To Stand Alone?
Leading change may start out as a group effort but not everyone will see it through. At the end of the day, are you willing to stand alone? Anytime you lead change you will meet with resistance. At the very least you will meet with with a few reluctant contributors. Friends may distance themselves from you and even those early adopters who were cheering you on two weeks ago may begin to doubt. You may start to doubt yourself! Are you willing to stand alone?
5. Am I Willing To See It Through?
There will be bumps and bruises along the road to leading change. When the going gets tough (not IF, but WHEN) the tough get going! There will be quitting points along the path to purposeful change, it’s inevitable. Before entering the road to change are you willing to see it through to the end?
Change effects all of us in different ways. I can remember writing down the above five questions many years ago as I was about to lead a large, and not very popular change. I wore out that paper pulling it from my notebook to serve as a reminder. A resounding YES to each of the 5 questions. It kept me going. How about you?
Are you about to lead a significant change this month or next year? What question from the above 5 resonates with you the most? I would really like to hear your thoughts!
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