“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
Culture changes are forward thinking. There is a recognition that where we are is not quite where we would like to be, followed by a dedicated shift to taking everyone where we want to go.
Too often, when someone comes around promoting a change in culture, people start to panic. There is uncertainty, confusion, readjustment, and maybe even a little fear. These people are the ones caught fighting the old. They have a way that they have always done it, and that is being disrupted. So, they fight to hang on.
The culture begins to change when people start to buy in. The first person has the idea, or the vision, so to speak, but the real courage takes place when one person bravely decides to join in. This simple yet dynamic move allows the visionary to know that he is no longer alone, and tells everyone else that they no longer need be afraid to join alone. (This video really captures the essence of how a culture change takes place.)
The point is that often times we see these movements taking place, but we are scared to join. We recognize it as a good thing, but we become comfortable with the status quo. Once the crowd joins in, maybe we will then join in, but we hesitate to be the trend setter or the first follower.
It starts with having a vision — one that you believe in and encompasses those values that you believe are important. When you see another person or idea or company that aligns with those ideals, be brave, seek them out, and join them. You have laid the groundwork, and aligning yourself with people of similar visions is really all about having enough confidence in your own vision to be a first follower for them.
Change may start alone, but it cannot be accomplished without the help of others. We all need those people to help us build our culture, promote our vision, create our strategy. Look for those opportunities to be around those whose visions are your visions.
Don’t wait to be a part of the larger crowd. Don’t get caught holding onto the old ways. Be a forward thinker. Be bold and brave. If you truly do believe in it, become a first follower. Help build the vision and become a part of the process of the change, instead of simply waiting to benefit from the results.
Bring your best today!