Being Intentional

“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.”

“We must become the change we want to see.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
Benjamin Franklin

How many of us have attended a seminar or training and listened attentively, taken copious notes and left on a mission to make some changes only to find that once you got back to your home or office the notes got filed, the ideas were forgotten and the enthusiasm faded?  It is so easy to get excited about something in the moment.  It’s a bit tougher to maintain that momentum over time.

One Thing Remains the Same… Things Will Always Change

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  It also has been said that “change is inevitable”.  But many of us seem resistant to change or changing… (I’ll include myself here).  So why, when faced with situations that aren’t going well, are we so reluctant to change? 

Some of us are so comfortable with the status quo that the discomfort and discombobulating affects of change are too much to deal with.  For some, fear plays a factor as well because the status quo can seem safe and reasonably successful.  So in our minds change may increase the possibility of failure.  Lastly, the old adage “That’s the way we have always done it” usually points to the fact that no one wants to make the effort to alter the traditional approach regardless of how badly a change is needed.  Last month we considered “fighting fires” which can be viewed as a combination of tradition and Einstein’s definition of insanity above. 

Being Intentional

We all know of things that we wish would change.  New Year’s resolutions are based on change (lose weight, stop smoking, call my mother more…).  We often are filled with good intentions of changing.  However, having good intentions does not necessarily equate to being intentional.  One definition of intentional is “being done by design”; purposely doing something.  And there’s the rub… and the key.

Instead of fighting fires you have to intentionally stop and address the issues causing them.  Recognizing the need for change and making the change are two different actions.  The latter requires being intentional.  If you want to make a change you have to be intentional about it…every day.  That’s what creates and maintains the momentum which allows change to occur and take hold. 

It also requires the courage to face the fear of failure, to alter the status quo and make an effort (and, from Einstein’s perspective, to stop the insanity).  But most of all it requires us to make a choice.

Change starts from the top down.  As a leader, step back and examine what needs to change in your organization.  Will you choose to initiate or support change?  Will you intentionally give others the opportunity to spread their wings and make changes even though they may fail?  Will you step out and promote change or allow others to lead the charge for change?

It’s your choice.  What are your intentions?

Here to serve,

John Duba

Next month:   Vision Test

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