Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Change: What Would Colin Powell Do?

The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions. This quote from Ellen Glasgow highlights the danger of the status quo and why change is necessary. For several posts, we've discussed the topic of change and ways to deal with it. There is not a right approach to dealing with change -- the key is to embrace and seek change.

In Oren Harari's The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell book, the author takes one chapter to discuss change. Below are three takeaways from popular Chapter 5 - The Chief Dis-Organizer. They are:

Keep looking beneath the surface. Don’t take the easy road when it comes to your team or organization. Dig deep and locate areas of improvement – innovation will be your reward. Remember years ago, the world's greatest golfer, Tiger Woods, revamped his swing because he know he could improve in that area.

Be uneasy with routine and habit. How many times have you heard, “we’ve always done it this way around here?” Plus they say, “We are successful.” These phrases should send up a red flag. Why? “…success can breed failure, and that complacency is the enemy.”

Be ruthless and curious. If you are going to create change, a dogged determination to question processes is a must. The author tells of the tough questioning that took place after the events of September 11, 2001. Our country leaders had to answer these questions – “Did we allow our intelligence mechanisms to atrophy? How could we have missed the fact that there were truly people out there who hated us…?” Questions such as those lead to changes and steps toward a more secure nation.

You be the change agent. Mr. Let Somebody Else Do It is very busy.

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