Five lies about change and how to fight back

Here are some leadership lies: 1.  This will never change.

2.  It's just a fad.

3.  Changing would cost too much money.

4.  Only a few people would actually use it.

5.  Can't teach an old dog new tricks.

I like challenging different leaders.  I specifically challenge them around their use of technology and their concept of social media.  I often hear the latter five lies.

Change for some people is difficult but change for leaders can be paralyzing.  Time and availability are critical tools in a leader's life as well as influence and finances.  Threaten any one of these in a leaders life and you will more than likely receive a "No" in your push for change.

I'm hard wired to resist change.  As a matter of fact we all are.  The lizard brain takes over (for a refresher on the Lizard Brain, watch video).


So how can we keep ourselves from being leaders who resist change?

1.  Recognize fear - If you are resisting change ask yourself, "Do I feel threatened by this change?"  If you can recognize fear you can do something about it.

2.  Know when to poke the box - As Seth Godin says in his outstanding book Poke the Box: If poking the box costs you less than or equal to nothing, then poke.

3.  Review core values - If a new technology or social media enables the team or organization to do one (or all) of your core values more effectively then change is a no brainer.

4.   Find a great coach - Our fear of anything is often a result of misunderstanding.  Seek out someone who can inform and equip you.  We always need a permission giver to do something new.  This doesn't mean you have to be the creator, it only means you have to be the first in your role or field to try.

Don't allow your lizard brain to hold you back as a leader!  We can't always wait around until someone else proves something works before we take action.  Leadership is not result of the scientific method, it's a result of action in the face of a uncertain result while others watch.



The fear of change

You can't fear change so stop being a sissy.  As a leader you will either see it coming and take the appropriate actions or it will catch you and you'll lose the opportunity to react.  The moment you begin to resist it and hope it goes away is the day you lose momentum. Here is why we resist change:

1.  You have a system you've put a lot of time into and you don't want to start over.

2.  You assume if it isn't interesting to you it's not interesting to everyone else.

3.  Your title allows you to silence those that are calling for change.

4.  You're old.  No seriously.  We think older equals more comfort.  

5.  You're hoping it's just a fad.  Like Elvis.  Like The Beatles.  Like Nintendo.  Like Email.  Like text messaging.  Like Facebook.  

Leadership requires you to stare down the barrel of change.  If you don't it's like fishing without ever throwing a hook into the water.