Is your timid approach to change actually sabotaging success?

Is your timid approach to change actually sabotaging success?

As originally posted on HCI.org. Revisiting the unfortunate truth of leadership.  In part one of our Lead to Win series, we discussed how leaders often unknowingly make the shift from playing to win, to playing not to lose. Typically, four important aspects of successful leadership are impacted: innovation, change, communication and sustainability. Last time we discussed how a scarcity mentality stunts authentic innovation, and essentially cripples an organization over time. Today, we will focus on how playing not to lose affects change. We’ll look at communication and sustainability in parts three and four. Understanding your mental models. Your experiences and your interpretation of those experiences slowly and subtly lead to beliefs and assumptions, or mental models, that then drive your behavior.  Those mental models may be driving you to play not to lose instead of playing to win.  We will present some “playing not to lose” mental models, as well as their antithesis “playing to win”, mental models for your reflection in each of the four areas mentioned above.   The impact of playing not to lose. A Human Resources Team in a High Tech company found itself in a round of layoffs during which HR had to reduce budget by 30%. This reduction followed three previous smaller reductions, from which the HR group had not recovered headcount or many slashed initiatives. Senior leadership decided to take a very positive attitude and use the messaging that the reduction was an “opportunity” to streamline processes and “right size” HR to be faster, flexible, and much more relevant for the larger organization. This meant instead of requiring each HR function to cut 30%,...
Create Sustainable Change: How I Redesigned My Life

Create Sustainable Change: How I Redesigned My Life

The mountain. When someone learns about my weight loss journey to shed 200lbs without surgery or pills, I always get asked “How did you know where to start or what to do to lose that much weight?” The answer is simpler than you might think. I realized that if I focused on the mountainous task of losing 200lbs that I would get completely intimidated by the big, hairy, aggressive goal I’d set for myself; I would be overwhelmed about where and how to start and sustain the changes necessary to overhaul my nutrition and lifestyle habits. So, instead of looking miles ahead at the distant, looming mountain, I chose to change my perspective. I looked straight down in front of me into the six inches of space that lay directly in front of my feet. I asked myself what kind of baby step or change I had to make FIRST. Then, I focused on that small, sustainable change or habit and integrated it (and only it) into my lifestyle. Once I felt I had that step down pat, I took the next logical, small and sustainable step towards the mountain. I kept my head down and feet moving, step by step. If I got distracted by the mountain casting its shadow onto my path, I reminded myself that the journey I opted to make would take me to the mountain and OVER it - all I had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other. Is that the flashy, awe-inspiring answer people wanted to hear? Maybe not, but it’s what worked. Simple isn’t always “sexy”...