Over the past several weeks I have been researching and learning more about how to become the type of leader that knows the skills and steps it takes to promote change positively. The kind of leader that steps back and realizes that to make change effective and "stick", it takes more that just saying "this is how it is gonna be from now on" and forcing change on their organization. Over this course, I have learned that to influence change you need to have a plan in place, work with your team, while keeping in mind their emotional needs as well.
My journey began by creating my Why Statement. Simon Sinek (2013) says "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it" which resonated with me not only as an educator, but as a learner. I have long believed that if you aren't passionate about what you doing, no one else will be either, not the person you are talking to and definitely not the students you are trying to teach and inspire.
I continued my journey and looked closely at the Influencer Model which is targets both motivation and ability at the personal, social, and structural level to change vital behaviors and achieve a desired result. "To change the world, you need to change behavior" (Harapnuik, 2017). When anyone is trying to influence change, this should be constantly on their mind. Influence is a powerful tool that can impact the opinions and beliefs of others. It is how elections are won and new ideas are spread. It is smart to use this tool to its full potential when bringing change to your organization.
The next stop along my journey to a deeper understanding of how to be an agent of change was to dive into the 4DX Model. Covey (2012) believes that the everyday whirlwind can distract and interrupt change and to combat this we must narrow our focus. This model helped me outline a strategy my team will use to execute our "Wildly Important Goals" despite the whirlwind all around us. This plan was drafted, but will be discussed and edited together as a team, so that they buy-in is there and they feel ownership over what we are implementing as well.
My journey concluded at me discovering the process of crucial conversations. Who is an effective leader? An effective leader is someone who stands firm in what they believe in, no matter the "whirlwind" that is blowing around them - an effective leader is a self-differentiated leader. While I am being the agent of change in my organization, there will be time when I will have to address concerns and questions. The Crucial Conversations strategy is just what I need to help me navigate the tougher interactions.
In conclusion, change is hard. This is not a newly discovered feeling, most people can tell you a time they had to go through a change that wasn't easy. This journey has equipped me with the plans and strategies I will rely heavily on while implementing my disruptive innovation plan of bringing makerspaces to all the campuses across our district. I can not wait to see my ideas and goals brought to life inside my organization, and eventually watch it spread even further.
Grenny, J. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Harapnuik, D. (n.d.). Changing vital behaviors. Retrieved from https://luonline.blackboard.com/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_112845_1&content_id=_2599478_1
McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2016). The 4 disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals. New York: Free Press.
Patterson, K. (2012). Crucial conversation tools for talking when stakes are high. New York: McGraw-Hill.