How Good Are You at Leading Change?
By: Randy Wolken, President & CEO
How good are you at leading change? The answer to this question is increasingly important to our personal, team, and organizational success. Is there any doubt that the speed of technology and economic change is accelerating – and is not looking to slow down? This means we must, as leaders, be a part of continuous change efforts. So, how do we get good at it?
The best way to practice change as a leader is with yourself. We can learn a myriad of things about human behavior by experimenting with our own change – both at work and at home. This gives us the insight needed to lead and support change efforts at work. The best way to begin or accelerate your learning is through the change in your habits. Habits make up 65% – 80% of our daily activity. If you want to know how to make significant change, focus on how to effectively create new habits.
One of the best ways to implement change in the form of new habits is through the use of mini-habits. Mini-habits are newly desired habits at a scale that you cannot fail at. Let me explain. Touch your nose. Yup, just do it. If you did, you just executed a mini-habit. It is a behavior that you could not fail at – if only you attempted to do it. What we have learned about human behavior change is that we typically do not attempt change because it seems too big or difficult in its final form. But, a little of something in a new area of behavior is exponentially more than what we are doing now and creates the pathway to eventual success on a much bigger change effort.
Over a year ago, I began using the mini-habit approach to create entirely new behavior patterns for me each day. Let me give you an example. I had learned that reminding myself of the good things about me –affirmations – can have a significantly positive impact on how I feel about myself. And, as we all know, how we feel about ourselves changes how we feel about and treat others. So I adopted this daily habit of reciting fifteen positive affirmations about myself. I use the same list every morning. It’s so simple and takes me less than a minute each day. I am certain it has made a big difference in how I am each day. I have been practicing this simple daily habit (and about three dozen other simple daily habits) each day for over a year and it has proven to me that we all can do amazing things – when they are habits – each and every day.
Habits are who we are – and we get to pick our habits. Learn how to change habits and you can quite literally learn how to change anything both at work and at home. Using mini-habits is a great way for you to learn how to change anything in your life. And, as the leader, you need to be great at demonstrating how you – and others – can change 65% – 80% of your daily habits. Can you just imagine if you could influence the daily habits of everyone on your team? Habits are where the true power of change occurs. Learn how to be an effective change leader by learning how to change habits. And, it all starts with you as the leader.
So, what are you changing on your journey to being a more effective change leader? Determine what it is – and start today!