There is a difference between making a change and changing.
To make a change, you just need to alter what you do one time or another. In one instance — at one moment in time — you trade what you are used to doing with something different. That’s how you “make a change”. You do it each day without thinking much about it.
Sometimes, you don’t even need to demand change of yourself in order to do something different. Circumstances can force you to change. Lack of money, a need for acceptance, or a new belief system can influence you to make a change.
Changing on the other hand is an internal process that you control entirely. It’s a new set of attitudes, intentions, and motivations that you deliberately cultivate.
You can make a change without changing.
You could do something different on the outside and still be the same person that you used to be on the inside. You can change the tactics that others see, but still be the same short-sighted person in your mind.
Business studies consistently show that more than 70% of all change management projects in corporate America fail. That means that almost all the time, good ideas can’t be turn into reproducible patterns across teams, divisions, and organizations.
Perhaps that’s because we’re focused on “making changes” rather than changing.
As a leader, you can make changes to your staff and what they do without encouraging the internal, emotional change that drives the long-lasting results you need.
The truth is that all of us want to change in some way.
We all want to be better at something. We want to be better people. All of us. At one thing or another, we want to change.
But changing is hard, because it demands a new mindset, more courage, and new opportunities for us to fail. And we don’t want to fail.
And since changing feels a lot like failure most of the time, we just decide to make a change here or there and hope desperately that it turns into changing.
And when it doesn’t, we point out who didn’t make the change we wanted (or how we wanted), all the while neglecting to say the obvious — that changing is deeply emotional and so very hard to do.
That’s the secret to leading change.
We all want to change for the better and we’re hoping that the leaders around us motivate us to be that changed person.
It’s time we each started leading like that. Motivating instead of authoritating.
Help people change instead of just making a change.