“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ Whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” (Steve Jobs)
Steve Jobs was a wise man who died too young. Yet, during his short life, he drove and achieved an amount of change that many of us only dream of – although, each and one of us possess the capability of being catalysts and active agents of change. Our circumstances are different, but it is not about background who becomes a successful catalyst for change and who not. As a matter of fact, those who are determined to achieve will do so, no matter how difficult circumstances sometimes may be.
Driving change is always individual. Driving change, and being a change agent is not about status or title, not even about material possessions. Change is continuous, and leads to evolution. Very often change management is referred to as change projects in IT, but change management is much more than that. Change management includes the capability of driving and leading change in one’s personal life as well. We are all affected by changes in society, driven by other individuals (change agents). Some changes are impossible to avoid, so adaptation and going with the flow is often necessary in order to stay well-integrated.
However, there are many things we can influence on a personal level.
“Be the change you want to see in the world”. (Mahatma Gandhi)
Advice for leading change in your life:
– Always embrace change, and see it as something positive. Change often brings new possibilities.
– Remember to rest, but also keep on moving. When life becomes too comfortable, there is a need for development and growth.
– Be proactive. It is far better to have the ability to influence change than being hit by sudden, even radical change, when it is already too late to have a say in the course of happenings.
– Make a long-term plan for your life, at least for the upcoming five years. Include both business and private life in your plan. Where do you want to be in five years? What do you want to achieve? How will you achieve it?
– You can have several different plans: one for business life, one for your private life. If you have a long-term plan (say, for the next five years), divide your long-term plan into shorter time periods (e.g. the coming year 2015, for the coming quarter, a weekly schedule, and a daily schedule). Leave some space for adjustments as well, and for non-planned time (otherwise, life can become too boring).
Why is it so important to make plans, have goals, and lead change?
If YOU do not take responsibility for your life, and make plans, you will either end up achieving nothing, or someone else making the plans for your life. Which do you prefer? Being guided/directed, or proactively leading your life into your desired direction?
Leading change is important for everyone, not only for those with a professional designation for being change agents/leaders/managers.
Change can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but the more you step out of your comfort zone, and develop your ability to live with constant, small changes, the better you will feel in the long run. It is far better to be proactive and lead small changes on a regular basis, than wait for something to happen (and the more you procrastinate, the more effort will you have to give at a later stage).
“Change can be scary, but what is even scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing”. (Mandy Hale)