Creating great change, adapting to change and leading through intense periods of social, political and institutional change, is a topic that is constantly written about, and has been discussed for generations. Not bowing to real and imagined fears and choosing to adapt to needed change is something that has tested generations for centuries. Leading your organization through change will be one of the greatest tests of your leadership abilities and your own individual resilience.
As said by the controversial realist himself Niccolo Machiavelli, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand or more perilous to conduct…than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” Regardless of your opinions of Machiavelli, his words here could not be more true, and I guarantee if you take a moment for some serious contemplation of you own life, you might see that adapting to change may not have always been, or may never have been one of your strong suits. But Understand – If you are to achieve the great goals you dream about, if you are to lead the people you are responsible for leading to a higher level of success and achievement, and if you are intent on your legacy being that you gave more to society than you ever took from it, then you must be willing to devote yourself to becoming a fearless master of adapting to change.
There are several foundational pillars and disciplines that are necessary to study, understand and consistently practice to become an effective change agent and to devote your energies to the work of their mastery. I want to discuss two of those foundational pillars. The first being, to not fear change and the second being, the understanding that intentional service and sacrifice is a requirement of change.
Fearing change is one of the most foolish and dangerous things to ever do. Just look at the history of humankind and the many great atrocities that have been committed and justified out of the exasperated fears of change. Change is constant, and to fear it is as foolish as fearing the changing of the seasons. Accept the reality that change will always happen whether you want it to or not. The sooner you accept this reality for every aspect of your life the sooner you can begin to work towards strengthening your skills in dealing with change. Besides, if you are always growing and hustling as hard as you claim you are…then you should be constantly changing and evolving for the better. The opposite of this is complacency, and that is a state of being that will quietly destroy you both personally and professionally.
The second aspect as I mentioned in dealing with change, is the understanding that, intentional service and sacrifice are requirements of change. Service and sacrifice are one in the same; you cannot have one without the other. Creating change, and leading through great change, means that you will have to be wise and intentional on how you serve your people, and you cannot effectively serve people without the willingness to make the required sacrifices to do so. These sacrifices for example will include your time, resources, and even certain luxuries of life. There is no way around that, and if that is a cost too high, then you should examine whether or not you need to be in a leadership position. Understand – Right now you are enjoying certain benefits of life that you don’t even think twice about, and yet they carry very high costs that were given by the change agents and the brave leaders who lived out their greatness and responsibility. Many paid the ultimate sacrifice to do so.
If you are wanting to enjoy life, create successes most only dream about, and more importantly if you are wanting to impact the lives of people for the better, and not just be another cowardly soul who was too selfish to contribute and honor their responsibilities to society, then you must be willing to embrace change, and then set yourself to mastery of the disciplines needed to be an effective change agent. You are just as capable as anyone else; you just have to be willing to do the work.
You can do this, you must do this and there is nothing stopping you but you. Be the change agent you were born to be and as always, keep hustling hard and keep fighting forward!
In this week’s video, we share a clip from my speech given at NC State University last year for the Teach For America celebration, where I discussed these sentiments. Also – If you haven’t, make sure you take a moment right now and subscribe to the Joyner TV YouTube page, where you can always go back and watch the weekly blogs, and the ones you may have missed!
Also if you are in the Rocky Mount Area on May 12th, I want to personally invite you to attend this great upcoming young professional’s development event, where I will be kicking off a great professional development series with a dynamic presentation entitled – Think Like An Entrepreneur - This event is sponsored by the Young Professionals of the Twin Counties. David is proud to be a part of the Slate of Eight speakers for this excellent professional development growth series. Share with your networks and send your organization’s young professionals! For more info and to register, click here - https://www.facebook.com/herestosuccess/