Note from Mack: The following is an excerpt (my perspective on Chapter 10: Leveraging Change) from our just released book, Change Happens: Leading Yourself and Other Through Change, which I co-authored with my wife Ria Story. It’s now available on our Amazon and our website TopStoryLeadership.com. I’ve had the privilege of leading leaders and their teams through over 11,000+ hours of change and transformation. I love change and leading others through change! Ria and I speak at conferences and offer corporate training on change.
The book has 15 chapters. Ria and I both offer our own separate perspective on change in each chapter. Ria focuses primarily on leading yourself through change, and I focus primarily on leading yourself and others through change.
“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” ~ Denis Waitley
Once you’ve made the choice to embrace change, don’t stop there. Leverage the change for maximum benefit. Leveraging change means doing more than simply making the change. Leveraging change means you will seek ways to intentionally grow your influence during the change.
You will benefit greatly by simply embracing change and choosing not to resist. When you move from resisting change to embracing change, you move from being viewed as reactive to being viewed as neutral. But, if you choose to leverage the change, you will move from being viewed as neutral to being viewed as proactive.
When it comes to change, who will have the most influence with their leader? Someone who is reactive, neutral, or proactive? No doubt, the proactive person will have the most influence. As you begin leveraging change, there will be many benefits that will help you grow and advance your career professionally.
7 Benefits of Leveraging Change in the Workplace
- You will be noticed for taking initiative. The first to help always gets the most recognition. Quickly implement change and be sure to suggest change that will benefit the process, team, or business in some way.
- You will build strong relationships with the game changers. When you embrace change, you are attracting others who embrace and initiate change. The best advertisement is word of mouth What are your co-workers and leaders saying about your business (YOU)?
- You will get to learn more about how the business operates. As you interact with more game changers, you will build trust. Be sure to ask questions to learn the thought process behind the change. This will most likely increase your influence in the future.
- You will have more input in implementing the change. When you get involved with making the change happen, you will be given a voice. You will be asked your opinion, and others will learn how you think.
- You will have more input in future changes. As you build relationships and interact with leaders during change, they will begin asking your opinion about future changes. At this point, you’re gaining valuable influence.
- You will become more valuable. When leaders start to benefit from your support and your ideas for improving the processes and moving the organization forward, you become more valuable to them and the organization.
- You will be considered for promotions. Those who make an impact helping the leaders implement change will be more quickly considered for pay increases and promotions because of the strong supportive relationship they have built with the decision makers.
As you begin to realize these and other benefits, you will have leveraged change. Those who are neutral or resistant will never receive these benefits. As you already know, most people don’t like change and put their energy into resisting and complaining. When others are moaning, groaning, and whining, it’s easy for you to start shining.
When you choose to be proactive when everyone else is being reactive, that mindset is already allowing you to leverage change to your benefit. Look for those opportunities when there is a change. Be the first to support the leader not only privately, but also publicly.
Loyalty publicly leads to leverage privately. This is another way to intentionally leverage change for your benefit. When you support those responsible for change openly, in a way they know you are behind them, you will increase your influence with them when you meet with them privately, perhaps to recommend a change of your own.
When you leverage change, you’re essentially building trust. The more trust you have with the leaders, the more influence you’ll have with them. As Amy Cuddy says, “If someone you’re trying to influence doesn’t trust you, you’re not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative.”
When you’re leading (influencing) others, your goal should be to motivate, not manipulate. When you are motivating, all parties benefit. When you are manipulating, only you benefit. Therefore, as you begin to leverage change for your benefit, you must do it in a way that allows the leaders to benefit. And, if possible, those on your team. When more people benefit from your actions, you will gain more influence.
The ultimate test of a leader is to produce positive change. Leading change leverages change. Are you ready?