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THE PATH OF THE CHANGEMAKER: WHY YOU SHOULD START DOING IT

Change or get changed

Maybe you know that feeling. Your job isn´t what it once was anymore, the long-term relationship is missing a bit of spark, and your bank account is empty in the middle of the month already. There is only once choice. You have to make a change. Still you are left with one choice: Are you going to change or are you going to stay the same?

While Changemakers are taking action on their plans, the Status Quo Managers take a wait-and-see approach. And if they happen to spring into action more or less by chance, they usually fall right back into their old behavioral patterns. But it doesn´t have to be this way. Quite the contrary. Every single human being can become a Changemaker. And I want to show you how.

Being a Changemaker is not a title, but an attitude

So what exactly is a Changemaker? For me, it´s those people who combine courageous ideas with clear actions and view the various challenges of every-day life as a beautiful gift of life. Those who focus on the big chances and opportunities and actively mold their future. Those who don´t change just for the sake of the changes, but are willing to grow as a person and get better every single day. Those who forgo well-meaning announcements and rather focus on letting actions speak. Those who do well when it comes down to acting like a role model for their colleagues, co-workers, customers, friends and family members. In short: Changemakers are those people who make the decision to put their own personal stamp on life and leave the world just a tiny bit better than they found it.

A Changemakers attitude

With this short definition, you can undoubtedly tell that this doesn´t pertain to a title or a hierarchical position, but a very special can-do attitude. And because that´s the way it is, you can divide the people around you into two categories: The Changemakers and the Status Quo Managers. You can find the prime examples, including mixes between the two, everywhere, in your company, your social circle and in your sports club. Let us take a closer look at the typical characteristics of both lifestyles.

With this short definition, you can undoubtedly tell that this doesn´t pertain to a title or a hierarchical position, but a very special can-do attitude. And because that´s the way it is, you can divide the people around you into two categories: The Changemakers and the Status Quo Managers. You can find the prime examples, including mixes between the two, everywhere, in your company, your social circle and in your sports club. Let us take a closer look at the typical characteristics of both lifestyles.

A Status Quo Manager

  • Sees changes as a threat
  • Fears the unknown
  • Thinks he knows and is familiar with everything
  • Reacts passively to outside circumstances
  • Is looking for excuses and reasons why something just doesn´t work
  • Is problem oriented
  • Would rather sit back and do nothing instead of making a mistake
  • Does not like to make decisions
  • Hides behind rules
  • Changes his opinions and values to appeal to others
  • Accepts the status quo as a given and not changeable
  • Does not take on responsibility
  • Hides behind other people

A Changemaker

  • Sees changes as a huge opportunity to grow, to learn and improve
  • Follows the concept of lifelong learning
  • Actively creates his outside circumstances
  • Finds ways and means to put his plans into action
  • Is solution oriented
  • Is ready to make mistakes to be able to learn from them
  • Makes punctual, clear and relatable decisions
  • Is willing to break rules and replace them with his own
  • Lives according to well established values
  • Questions everything, especially his own opinions and judgments
  • Takes responsibility for himself and his actions
  • Acts with intention
  • Leads with personality

Did you recognize yourself or someone in your environment in these statements? I hope this short summary made it clear, once again, that the big difference between a Status Quo Manager and a Changemaker does not lie in his talents, his abilities or external circumstances. It´s not a question of hierarchical positions either. I know Changemakers that earn their bacon as clerks, secretaries and bus drivers. And, by the same token, I know politicians (lots of them), executives and CEOs that are prime examples of a Status Quo Manager.No, the deciding difference lies in a very special attitude; to take your fate into your own hands, actively create change, as well as taking responsibility for yourself and for others.

The four attributes of a Changemaker

Changemakers are always leaders that the people around them can orient themselves by. And the clearer their own ideas, values and opinions are, the easier it is for their co-workers, colleagues or customers to simply follow suit. To achieve this, it is necessary to internalize four attributes and make them part of your daily routine. These are—as usual—very easy to understand, but not quite as easy to apply.

Changemaker attribute #1: Take responsibility

I know you are probably sick of this statement already, but it is so essential and important that I don´t mind bringing it up yet again. If you want to say goodbye to your passive wait-and-see approach then you cannot avoid this step. The alternative is to let the direction, way and speed of your life be determined by other people. But then you will never feel the deep and intense satisfaction that only appears when you take responsibility for your own decisions, your actions and your results.

Changemaker attribute #2: Learn to make decisions

Nothing is more important for the right motivation to change than the ability to be able to make decisions. (How to best go about this is detailed in the chapter entitled “Be Unique Instead of Different“). Why is the world so full of mediocracy, complaining and whining? Because so many people are afraid to make mistakes, and therefore choose not to make any decisions at all. The result? Apathy, standstill and many times even regression. Train yourself as often as you can in making clear and punctual decisions. This way you take a stand, convince with confidence and relay values to your environment so that other people can orient themselves accordingly.

Changemaker attribute #3: Go First!

Changes follow a simple logic. If we change ourselves, everything around us will change as well. But for this it is necessary that we do not expect anything from someone that we wouldn’t be willing to do ourselves. With this, you give your co-workers, colleagues and customers clear direction. You create trust and credibility. The more actively you apply the concept of Always Go First, the less you are a puppet of external circumstances. If you hold the key to action in your own hands, you leave nothing up to chance, especially in insecure times, and are always the one crucial step ahead of your fate because you are always prepared, actively take action and initiate change without a title, money or permission.

Changemaker attribute #4: Let your actions speak louder than words 

An old Chinese proverb says, “I cannot understand your words. Your actions scream so loudly.“ I keep meeting people who promise the most beautiful things with empty words in terms of what they plan to do, what goals they are following and what they definitely want to achieve. Most of the time, it doesn´t get past these announcements and, instead of consequent implementation, their energy is wasted on looking for excuses to explain why it´s just not working out. As a Changemaker you let actions speak instead of words. You forgo big announcements, and just do it. You thrill your co-workers, colleagues and customers with your competence in achieving and prefer to leave the verbal boasting to others.

The path of a Changemaker

You like these four attributes? Great! They will build the foundation when you follow the path of the Changemaker. They are a kind of a general guideline, to celebrate long-desired successes and directly achieve feasible results. No matter what challenge awaits you in the future, take on responsibility, learn to make decisions, actively apply the principle of Always Go First and enthrall with your high competence to achieve. Stop waiting and change your immediate environment, even without a title, money or permission from others. With consequent application, you will soon notice that you are growing as a person and your general satisfaction is rising. This the path of a Changemaker.

So there is only one last thing to say: Start doing it

Sincerely yours,

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