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Why Change is Hard and Why We Need To Change to Survive

August 20, 2011

Right now in the current global upheaval of markets, governments and social attitudes we can see and feel that there is no ‘normal’ and that we may never have a comfortable ‘normal’ again.

This realization can frighten us or it can light a fire under us to be what I call ‘champions of change’. We can fight back, resist and deny but this only creates more pain and stress. At the very best we can individually choose to move forward, to notice our personal thought barriers to change and make a commitment to shift our behaviors towards making positive change.

So why is change hard?

Psychologically we are wired for fright or flight we all know this and when faced with change we perceive it as a threat to our well-being and to our survival. That’s why people will go to protective behaviors or selfish behaviors that benefit themselves but not necessarily the greater good.

That is unless as an individual you have done enough personal ‘work’ that you recognize you are responding in a way that is not going to create good for all. This requires courage and commitment to look beyond current and immediate pay off and to see the positive future that can be created if we all work together for it.

As change champions we as leaders need to be holding ourselves to the highest level of accountability in how we envision the change, communicate the change and then execute the change. I had a conference call with a change champion leader yesterday and she admitted that her behaviors were not always consistent with the change she talks about with her teams. Her willingness to be aware of her behaviors and her inconsistencies is a tremendous strength as it allows her to communicate her own challenges which in turn creates trust and awareness among her team.

Up until now we have been getting away with inconsistent and inauthentic leaders because very few people were holding them accountable. Today we are being called out on our actions and sometimes in very public ways via social media.

Why we need t

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