Change Like Charity Begins at Home

Change Begins with YouChange is the one constant in business that is not changing. Get used to it. It’s here to stay. I have always prided myself on being a change agent…a leader of change. Throughout my career, I was tapped to take on an organization or business that needed to change…..revitalize a stagnating business, consolidate overlapping organizations, restore customer satisfaction, refocus the business, or turn around a losing business.

Its all about them changing

In each case it meant creating a vision and rolling out a road map so that employees could understand the new business imperatives. It was about them realizing that they had to change their focus and behaviors in order for the business to be successful. It was all about them changing! They needed to change their ways. I was the all-seeing leader and visionary. Or so I thought.

In reality, I sometimes failed to look in the mirror and see that I needed to change. It’s easy to see what is wrong with others and tell them what they need to do. Yet we overlook the basic behaviors in ourselves that we need to change in order to be a more effective leader. There can be a huge gap between how we view ourselves and how others view us. What has worked for years may not be working now.

But I’m not that way…..really

We often have a very different view of ourselves from how others see us.

1.You see yourself as direct and honest,

while others see you as offensive, argumentative or egotistical

2.You see yourself as a change agent and visionary,

while others see you as impulsive, unrealistic or a dreamer

3. You see yourself as logical, accurate and focused,

while others may see you as cold, a micro-manager or uncreative

4. You see yourself as outgoing, caring and upbeat,

while others may see you as superficial, insincere or overly optimistic

5. You see yourself as co-operative, flexible and a team player,

while others may see you as vacillating, indecisive or weak

6. You see yourself as knowledgeable, experienced and respected,

while others may see you as a poor listener, bombastic or self centered

Look in the mirror….it may not be a pretty sight

Your unique behavior, style and interesting idiosyncrasies…those traits that are “just the way you are”….. may be past their “sell date” and could be undermining your effectiveness. Worse, they could be detrimental to your success or next promotion.

Ask your HR or coach to do an anonymous 360 with a few simple questions. Learn how others see you. You might be surprised.

For example, in the corporate world, I saw myself as an excellent listener. One of the best. And I probably was….in that world. However through training in business coaching and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) I realized I wasn’t such a great listener. I learned how to change me. What a difference it has made.

The hardest one to change is one’s self.

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