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Changing You

What do you do when you recognize that a change is needed – and you are the one that needs to change?


That’s a tough question and one that needs to be answered as frequently as it is asked.

Recognizing Change is Needed

How do you know change is needed?

If you are lucky, a trusted friend or co-worker will pull you aside and tell you the hard truth.

This truth can come in many forms. Its difficult, for example, to learn you are not the communicator you think you are, your business skills are not up to par, or you have lost touch with your industry. But regardless of the specifics included in the truth, the real message is you need to make some changes, and the first change needed is in you.

Probably more frequently, however, is you discover a change is needed because you start noticing your outcomes are not what they should be.

Outcomes are the tell-tale signs of your productivity. They are the evidence that your labor-your management, leadership, mentoring, and knowledge—is working. It is what you are paid to do.

And if your outcomes are not up to expectations, the answer is you need to change. It is possible other changes may also be needed, but you need to change first.

A classic example is when a football team is performing poorly, and the reaction of the head coach is to fire one of the assistant coaches. Now the assistant coach may have needed to be fired, but nothing is going to change the outcomes of the football team until the head coach makes some personal changes in his coaching.

It is all about the outcomes, and that is directly tied to leadership.

Changes are Needed

Now that you have realized some changes are in order, what do you do? Here is a list of realistic steps you can take to make lasting changes.

  1. The best place to start is with research. Humbly go to the sources of the suggestions for change and get specifics. Even if you think you know what they are suggesting, get additional information. Are there triggers for behaviors that you are unaware? Do you have blind spots that are causing management problems? The more you know about the changes you are trying to make, the higher your chances of making the changes needed.
  2. Make a plan. If certain people or situations cause you to act unreasonably, develop a strategy to implement when those situations arise. If you are failing at certain management duties, make a weekly date on your calendar to regularly address this issue. This plan needs to be specific. And then record your successes and failure so you can modify your plan as time goes on.
  3. Focus on small steps. Changes are hard, and you will experience failures. But every success is a step toward making the new changes part of your new behavior.
  4. Ask for help. Your friends want you to succeed and will always be willing to help with advice, support, and empathy. Professionals are available to help in a myriad of levels from substance abuse to business management suggestions. Whatever change you are trying to make, there is no reason you should have to make that change alone.

The Bible

God is in the “change” business. He wants to help you make a change in your life for the better. He is your cheerleader, coach, teacher, and advisor. He really does have all the answers.

Ephesians 5:17 says.

Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

“The will of the Lord,” is our guide for life. If we are following His will, God will be giving us the directions and answers for all our questions along the way.

If changes are needed in your personal or professional life, ask God to be part of making those changes. He will let you know what to change, help make those changes, and make the changes permanent. You’ll not regret asking for His help.