Home » Industry » Create Your World – Be a Change Agent [column]

Are you fed up with status quo? Change it. Are you unhappy with your world? Create it afresh. You can either complain miserably about your situation or you can do something about it.

There are two perspectives that people can have about their situation. One is that it is entirely outside their control and nothing can be done about it. The other is that they are responsible for their circumstances and while they cannot control everything there is a sphere of influence they can deal with and be a positive agent within.

Entrepreneurs bring change. It’s a given by product of being an entrepreneur.

The product and services you offer are different and change the lives of your clients. You employ people their lives are altered by the opportunities and remuneration you afford them.

You change economies through stimulating growth. The scale varies but there is change with entrepreneurship. Seeing as you are already a change agent let us consider how you can get better at it.

Strangely not everyone embraces the idea of change. About 70 percent of the population on average will exhibit resistance to change.

Change is scary and involves risk. The thrill of excitement that you feel on the edge of the precipice of creating something new may be a paralysing fear in someone else.

Appreciate that but don’t let it stop you. Expect resistance, expect criticism, and expect push back. Often this is just people’s reaction to the unknown. Be clear in your vision. Express clarity in the type of shift you want to bring. A firm, consistent clarity of direction is reassuring. A fickle leader who shifts position or is easily swayed is unlikely to change anything.

Be firm on vision but not hard on the solution. Change is going somewhere new and needs innovative solutions. Someone who grasps your vision may bring a completely off the chain answer to your desk, do not be such a control freak that you ignore it.

Demand the standards that others won’t. ‘This is Africa’ gets used too often as an excuse of mediocrity. Ask the hard questions that get people to think of solutions.

Offer others an opportunity to join you, to take ownership of the change. Draw greatness out of them. Do not settle for ‘no’ or for less. Seek the creative solution. Look to others on the edge of your field and examine how they dealt with it.

Change takes time and patience. This is not the passive sort of patience that waits for a kettle to boil.

Rather it is the active persistence that does not waver, compromise, and builds up pressure over time until a critical mass is reached.

Realise what you can change and start with that.

As your influence grows you will have the ability to change more. Consider the example of the employee who wants a salary raise. You could just barge into the boss’s office demanding a raise. It may not be the best approach.

Rather make yourself indispensable, look for behaviour in yourself that you may need to change in order to increase productivity. Because maybe you are not as indispensable as you think just yet.

Then if you boss is so thick that he fails to notice the consistent shift you may need to point it out to him.

Again this takes time, do not expect a week of good behaviour to earn you an increment.

Be proactive. You can grumble and moan about the current state of affairs or you can choose to build around you the type of world you wish to live in make it attractive enough and perhaps others will join you on the way.

Source : The Herald