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On March 4th, 2010

Are You a Change Champion?

Posted In:
Change | General

Think back to a time when you were really excited about something that was changing.

Maybe it was a new initiative at work or in your community, or a new idea for your family. It can be anything at all that you were excited about and anxious for the change or innovation to take place or for the new idea to be implemented.

It doesn't matter if what you are thinking about is current, recent or "ancient history" or whether it`s work related or in your personal life.

Have you got a situation in your mind?

Great!

When you were living with that change and believed in the value of that change, what did you do?

My guess is that you:

Talked about the change in positive ways Engaged others in conversation about the change and its benefits Helped other people really understand the change - so they could see it and believe in it the way that you did Encouraged others in regards to the change Kept others excited about the change, especially when they were negative or frustrated Supported others in any way that you could

If you have ever done any of these things, you`ve been a change champion, and you can do it again.

When thinking about change, especially organizational change, there are a number of things we expect or have seen those "in charge" do, including:

Organizing the change efforts Supervising the activities Running things as effectively as possible Trying to keep the efforts on task and on time

These are important tasks and would be grouped into what I call change management. These are incredibly important activities that become more important the larger the change effort becomes (the more people involved, etc.). These are also the tasks that most people think about when in charge of a change.

Perhaps you also have seen people doing other things in regards to a change, things like:

Helping to steer the change, perhaps through ongoing communication Conveying some sense of importance and urgency relating to the change Moving people, through their action perhaps, in the direction of the change

These are examples of what I call change leadership activities. In my experience they are seen less frequently than the change management tasks, but they are at least as important.

Read back now over all three bullet lists and ask yourself, which of these lists will have the most impact on creating real, lasting change?

Your answer might well be "all of them", and in many ways that is true - all of these tasks and activities will move a change forward. Having said that let me emphasize a very important point. It is the first list - the activities of a change champion - that will make the biggest difference, in part because they are so often missing completely.

The good news is you have been a change champion in the past. You can do it - and you can do it again. Open yourself up to the idea that when you share a bit more of yourself, when you say more about what you believe, when you allow your passion to show through in your actions; you can make a real difference in a change situation.

Doing those things makes you a change champion.

Doing those things will allow you to make a bigger difference.

Are you a change champion? You are when you do those things, regardless of your job title or position.

So now think of all the changes around you - especially the ones you are interested in and care about - and ask yourself - will I champion this change? And if so, when will I begin?

Potential Pointer: Change, especially organizational change, requires more than management or even leadership. Change will be most effective and lasting when people who believe in and are passionate about whatever the change is champion it and nurture its development. If you want more effective change, stop managing it and start championing it!

Becoming a leader who champions change most effectively requires continual learning. Kick start your leadership efforts and become the leader you were born to be with a free 2-month trial in Kevin Eikenberry?s Remarkable Leadership Kick Start System at http://www.remarkable-leadership.com/campaigns/kick-start-system.asp. Kevin is the Chief Potential Officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://www.KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company that helps organizations, teams and individuals unleash their leadership potential.


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