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Somethin’ New

They say, “Come up with somethin’ new
And everyone will buy it.”
So I came up with a paper umbrella,
But no one was willing to try it.

And then I came up with reusable gum.
It seemed such a pity to waste it.
Then I came up with some mustard ice cream.
Nobody bothered to taste it.
So now I’ve invented a plug-bottom boat.
It’s just what you need, there’s no doubt,
‘Cause if any water should ever splash in,
Just pull the plug – it’ll all run out.

 

By Shel Silverstein

We probably get a chuckle from some people’s ideas in the same way we might laugh about the ones in this poem. But a good leader will let others run with them and learn for themselves whether the idea is good or not.  If it doesn’t work, they’ll know soon enough.  

 

Leadership is about surfacing the internal motivation and drive from individuals, and the quickest way to squash that drive and loyalty is to say, “that won’t work.” 

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Change Agent

The other day I heard a presentation on How to Be a Change Agent.  It was good material on how to lead and champion changes so that they are effective and stick. A lot of the content was from “Managing Transitions” by William Bridges and we learned the difference between ‘transition’ and ‘change’.

One exercise that was particularly powerful for me was a personal change that the presenter asked us to implement in order for us to really experience change and gain an understanding of what people are going through when someone causes a change to their normal processes.

He told us to switch the contents of our pockets.  Put the stuff in your right hand pocket into your left hand pocket and vice versa.  For those who didn’t have pockets (or stuff in them) he asked them to switch their watch to the other wrist.  Then he said that we have to try and keep it in this new place for one week.

It seemed very trivial, but I played along, and right away I began to experience the annoyance of the change.  I always keep my keys and phone in one pocket and my wallet in the other.  After I switched, it kept driving me crazy.  But I recognized the purpose and tried to learn from the experience.

It was eye opening because every time I was inconvenienced, only because it was against my routine, I realized how people might feel about a change that was imposed on them where they don’t really see the benefit over the old way they used to do things.

This was true experiential learning for me.  We’ll see if I can keep it up for a week.

You should try it.

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What is a Micromovement?

microYou know what a ‘movement’ is – people who are passionate about a particular subject who try to ‘move’ their ideas or concept forward.  They do this by talking about it among themselves, discussing every nuance, applying it to different situations, telling stories about it, and sharing it with others so they can get more people to join them.

But people mistakenly have the perception that a movement must be a large group of people who are changing society, or the government, or major institutions.  That may be true, but those kind of changes didn’t start out that way.  And aren’t there other changes that need to be made, or ideas that should be spread? Like within your family, or your neighborhood, or your school, or your work?

If you are working with more than one person, and you’re trying to make a difference or spread an idea, then you have a micromovement.

So go create more micromovements, a whole bunch of them, then maybe some day one of them might become macro.

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Follow the best

If you want to learn something, might as well follow the best. Check out Seth Godin’s blog at sethgodin.typepad.com

Then buy his latest book, “Tribes: we need you to lead us”