When Can Change Happen?

Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, photo via http://www.biography.com

Throughout the course of my MBA program, one of the most meaningful lessons I’ve learned is that real change start with looking in the mirror.  Mahatma Gandhi put it best when he famously said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Change doesn’t happen by simply asking other people to do things, and it doesn’t happen by hosting meeting after meeting (although there is a time a place for those), real change only happens as we commit ourselves to change, as we commit ourselves to action.

One of my professors, Bret Simmons, had us read a book entitled, “Building the Bridge as You Walk on it.”  There are a lot of great lessons to be learned from this book but the take home message is that YOU have to be willing to change.  True change starts and ends with you.

Just last night I was in a class where we discussed why strategy often fails.  One of the main reasons why a corporate strategy may fail is because those who tend to come up with the strategy tend to not be the ones actually responsible for carrying out the strategy.  Generally upper management will come up with what they think is  a great course of action, a great strategy, and then they will turn to “lower level” employees and say, “now please carry this out.”

It would be much more effective for upper management to see through the change themselves and to insert themselves “in the trenches” so to speak and actually live the change.  It would also be effective to invite “lower level” employees to participate in these strategy meetings, so that they have more input and buy in, which would help in making the strategy implementation more successful.

So, if you’re unhappy with something or feel frustrated by a situation, rather than look externally, do a little self-evaluation and ask, “What can I change, or do, to help this situation?”  This simple step can help improve not only career dilemmas, but personal life dilemmas as well.

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