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Change The World

Kirjoitettu 06.10.17
Esseen kirjoittaja: Juuso Nieminen
Kirjapisteet: 3
Kirja: Change The World - How ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results
Kirjan kirjoittaja: Robert E. Quinn
Kategoriat: 4. Johtaminen

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I have never thought in deep how remarkable changes one person can make in a community, nation or worldwide. And yet still this has always been just in front of my eyes. Very courageous change leaders such as Jesus, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi accomplished large changes in human behavior and cultures. And they did this by changing themselves and pursuing for some high purpose goals. They knew what they wanted and had meaning larger than themselves on their side. They had love in their soul which is the base for change. But how they did all this? The book Change The World by Robert Quinn gives us insightful explanation what it takes to make this kind of changes to happen.

Change Agent

We create the world around us. We always try to change and influence other people, organizations, cultures and societies. Therefore we are all change agents, and this includes myself too. Most importantly this reflects my thoughts from last spring as I was trying to make change happen in our team. I learned how well in fact my behavior and efforts for change went all in vain because of my own stance.

There was this good description about leadership in the book: ”To lead others, you need to have commitment to go forth to die.” What this means, is that leader must be willing enough to take care of others even it means to go forth to die. Being effective leader is about courage. It is not correct to put others to do something that you aren’t prepared to do yourself. And for me, this was the most important learning from the book. I think that I knew this inside my heart, but this another perspective that Robert Quinn gave me straightened my thoughts. Let me explain:

As I was trying to pursue our team goals and to find direction for us last year, when I was a team leader in our co-operative, I couldn’t demand results from our team because I myself wasn’t ready to go for an do them. I knew what we needed to do, but as I was too afraid, not ready to accomplish these things, I was ineffective in the eyes of others. This results in another great learning and thought, that I cannot never ever make change happen before I change myself. It means that I need to change my attitude towards others and change my behavior and thinking to maintain change process. Usually the normal change strategies work this way:

1. Telling (making logical arguments for change)

2. Forcing (using forms of leverage such as the threat of being fired or being ostracized)

3. Participating (using open dialogue and pursuing win-win strategies)

4. Transforming (transcending self and putting emphasis on emergent reality, moral courage and vision)

Of course participating and transforming are the most powerful ways of these to make change happen. Normal way for leaders is to tell others what to do or why they should change (when the leaders themselves are not ready to do it) and as they realize that it doesn’t work, comes forcing. Leaders use their ”authority” to threaten people with getting fired or similar methods. But this makes harm to the community and does not courage people to give their best for the whole. During my year as a team leader my first priority goal was to achieve good team spirit and that kind of attitude where collective and individual good are the same. I don’t know did my actions have any effect on it, but in my perspective we are on a good way towards it.

Beyond telling and forcing strategies are participating and transforming processes. I knew inside me, that I needed to look within to find the keys to make change happen, but because it is painful, I wasn’t willing to go for it. Until the end of summer came, and my thoughts about previous year as team leader had matured enough. Of course this personal change is a live long process. There is never a situation when I can settle and say: ”Now I have changed myself enough”. Or at least this is how I feel. And if I want to achieve something big, I need to look within again even it’s painful. The book states: ”Real personal change always means experiencing some kind of negative emotion.” So this raises me a thought that I need to get in love with this process and fast.

Productive Community and Self

To maintain productive structures is about the clarity of purpose, high standard of performance and highly trusting and supportive relationships. This means the strong understanding of your why. No matter if you’re trying to lose some weight, stop smoking, build a great company or to lead others to some direction. You need to know why you want to do it and have strong sense of this.

I have started to find my own ”why’s” better and I think it has been very difficult for me. Why I do this, why I want to do this, what keeps me going and how I keep my direction aligned with my goals, are questions that keeps rushing in my mind. As the book describes, the real change is about fundamental choices. And these choices need to do with our state of being or basic life orientation. If I want for example to get into good physical shape, I need to find my why, and the reasons why I should not slip back into bad habits. Why is quite easy even I need to clarify it more for myself, but the reasons why I should not slip every now and then of my goals is more difficult. So I have started to think what kind of harm bad habits causes to me. From the book: ”It is clear that what we are matters and what we choose to be matters even more.”

In a community, change requires the one individual or group who becomes the living symbol of desired future. That person has the burning love towards the community and is so willing to seek it that in the end others get involved in the process. In our team I think that I have a big part with this. What it requires from me is that I deviate and keep disrupting our existing behavioral system over and over again in a good sense and get others to step out of their comfort zone and scripts. And I need to do this to myself too over and over again, so we all can get our sights into emergent reality as the transforming strategy suggests. This is way to find new behaviors and patterns of how we act and renew ourself towards great success.

”Do you know why I don’t play ballads any more?”

”Because I like to play ballads so much.”

– Miles Davis

The change, whatever it is within community or self, needs courage. And first we need to look within ourselves. I am going to practice this kind of behavior for now on and start finding my real inner courage to make things happen. I want to get excited when I feel fear or anxiety and not let them push me of the track. Life is basically about choices and those choices are between deep change or slow death.

”Normally people want to know how to get out-of-the-box results with in-the-box courage.”


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