Change Leadership Institute

Lead Change & Love People Newsletter - January 2024

Published 5 months ago • 2 min read

Quote Of The Month

“We don't see the world as it is, we see it as we are.”― Anaïs Nin

What You Need To Know About Leading Change

When I interviewed a bunch of change leaders, I learned the power of proximate and personal experiences that shape our view of ourselves, others, and the world around us. Their stories also revealed different kinds of life experiences (experiences that happened TO them more than anything they were able to control) that helped cultivate conviction and passion to lead change with and for others.

Successful change leaders understand their life experiences, both good and challenging, as preparation to solve social problems in their contexts. This deeper awareness of their stories in connection to change also makes them more adaptable and agile along the change journey.

But our stories are not just about our past.

Our stories are unfolding as we speak and each one of us gets to write new chapters in our "life books" every day! Why is this important?

Leading change requires us to change too.

And we get the chance to change every day.

Recent research from Harvard states, "It makes sense that leaders would rely on the behaviors that got them to where they are in the first place. But to be successful at leading change, they must learn to recognize and act when it’s necessary to evolve their own behaviors."

Easier said than done, I know. (I have tried to give up bread for a long time, but I baked another loaf 30 minutes ago - I get it!)

Behavior change is hard, but it's possible! And the people we serve and lead deserve our best selves.

Experiment with my suggestion below and have fun!


What You Can Do Now To Change The Way You Lead Change

During the pandemic when we all went to Zoom, I noticed my "Zoom face," which was basically an RBF (Google it if you don't know). As a COO, I know my body language has lots of influence and power.

So I tried something different.

I practiced smiling in the mirror and transferred my best smile faces into the Zoom rooms.

The responses were wild!

"You are so honest but so kind!"

"How do you keep calm during stressful meeting conversations?"

All I did was smile more often.

Smiling is one of the micro-mindfulness activities used by Stanford Design School to bring more awareness and reflection into our lives.

Here's the exercise:

Allow yourself to smile more throughout your day. Notice the expression on your whole face and how you feel inside and out. Are your teeth clenched? Does only one side of your smile go up? When you pass a mirror or reflection, or when a negative thought enters your mind - just smile.

Write down what effect this exercise had on you and others around you.

Awareness, observation, reflection, and taking action are key to changing our behaviors and becoming better leaders of change!

My 3 Tips To Lead Change And Love People

  1. If you need some guidance with small behavior changes, feel free to order a self-leadership journal I created just for you! Check it out HERE.
  2. What I'm reading: Same As Ever by Morgan Housel. Some things NEVER change. This thought-provoking book is worth the read because it reminds us of the human condition and what repeats (and never changes) as a result!
  3. The skills needed to change ourselves (awareness, observation, reflection, and taking action) can also be applied to micro-experiments you can try in your organization to test whether certain groups of people are open to or resistant to change. More on this topic to come in a future post!

Change Leadership Institute

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