Leaders and managers call others to change. Frequently, the greatest barrier to change is the leader or manager her/himself. They are not changing, so why should we?
The story repeats itself in many different ways. When asked to rate her/him self on a particular skill, the consensus of the group was that individually we were at a 6/10 level, while as a group we were 5/10. As good or bad the rating was, as we talked about it, I did not sense anyone actively working to change.
An old story reflected a man names Paul on a ship in distress. Nobody had eaten in a long time. As he invited others to take a break and eat, he modeled his proposal. “He broke the bread, gave thanks to God, passed it around, and they all ate heartily—276 of us, all told!” (Acts 27.35, 36) A simple act gave permission for others to follow.
I know change is not easy. It always starts with admitting that one is not in a space that reflects one’s ambitions. Yet, admission in and of itself is never enough. Actions, reflection, adjustments, and more action is required if anything is going to be different. Following yesterday’s path to a different destination will always bring us back to where we are now.
From our review, I found myself standing at a door of invitation with others. I decided to walk through. I am not sure others followed. Time will tell the tale. In the interim, I look around me and realize that my actions tell a unique story. They are an invitation to change or a roadblock. I will tell others what I believe through my actions. They will see and experience the truth in my life.
I realize that I hold an invitation to teach as well as to do. The teaching gives me pause because I sense the responsibility that comes with it. Words like patience, empathy, and compassion are close friends. All rest near the heart of where you and I stand with each other. It is decision time.