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Become the change you want to see

Become the Change You Want to See

Start with yourself and your organization. You might want to do a SWOT analysis to help you. If you are unsure what a SWOT analysis looks like, then click here.

Becoming a real change leader is about ‘walking the talk’. Has anybody ever told you ‘you need to walk the talk’? One of my clients was told exactly this by his direct report last week so we talked about it in our coaching session. I used Gandhi’s story.


People would line up for hours just to ask Gandhi’s blessing or to ask him just one question. He always gave a wise, polite, and encouraging answer. One time, a mother brought her child. She had waited hours. She asked Gandhi to tell her child to stop eating sweets because they were ruining his teeth. Gandhi asked her to come back in two weeks, and he would do it. Everyone was shocked as he had never done anything like that before. Two weeks later, the mother came back and Gandhi wagged his finger and said to the little boy, ‘Stop eating sweets! They ruin your teeth.’ The woman thanked him and then said, ‘If I may ask, my dear Gandhi, why didn’t you just say this two weeks ago.’ Gandhi smiled and answered, ‘Two weeks ago, I was still eating sweets!’


‘Walk the talk’ means:

  • Act in a way that agrees with the things they say
  • Prove what you say with actions
  • Practise what you preach
  • Keep your promises

As a leader, how do you ‘walk the talk’ in your role as an organization culture shaper or real change leader?


“We must become the change we want to see”- Gandhi


Fact 1: Change is necessary

Fact 2: Organizations don?t change?people do

Fact 3: We know that two-thirds of large-scale transformation efforts fail.

I am working with leaders who are building high-performing teams. They are learning to lead themselves. They are challenging their internal assumptions. As a result they can navigate with confidence long-term, high-impact organizational change.

So what is it that makes those leaders more successful, real change leaders?

  • Their individual profile, a combination of their habits of thought, emotions, hopes and behaviour in various circumstances.
  • Their art of leadership, in having a number of approaches to a situation and knowing when to use the right one.
  • Their state awareness, the recognition of what’s driving them at the moment they take action.
  • How they are closing their performance gap, the disparity between what people know they should say and do to behave successfully and what they actually do in the moment.
  • How they set diverse interventions that will appeal to different parts of individuals and of the organization with a positive internal-communication campaign.


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist


Real change leaders (RCL) shake things up! It?s all in the mindset. They are determined to achieve better results through people.

Check whether you are an RCL:


# 1: RCL achieve objectives by mobilizing a large network of people

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# 2 RCLs want to make a difference in performance/outcomes. Those are measurable and trends can be seen.


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According to former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch, ?No company, big or small, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.? Effective communication is at the core of energizing, believing and understanding your employees. So what should this type of communication look like?

Clear. Concise. Consistent.

It’s more than that. Come on, what else?


# 3 RCLs enjoy being hands on (that does not necessarily make them operational)

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# 4 RCL have a 360-degree impact by influencing people all around (superiors, subordinates, and peers) to change.

When I work with leaders managing teams, they keep asking ‘what is the difference between influencing and persuading’? Have you read this book The Art of Influence: Persuading Others Begins With You by Chris Widener?

This is what he says: ”Number one, you’ve got to have fish, and number two, you’ve got to wait until they are hungry. The third thing about fishing is the most important: You have to use the right kind of bait. In every situation, though, you have to present bait that is appealing to the kind of fish you are trying to catch. It has to be attractive and alluring so as to draw the fish to you.” You are the bait. Many people simply do not understand this. It’s not so much whether we have all the answers or can make a slick and persuasive speech or handle a person’s objections that determine whether or not we will develop ourselves into successful influencers. It’s who we are that makes us attractive to others. Ultimately, people are not buying your products, services, arguments, ideas, or visions for the future. They are first and foremost buying you. So the question you have to ask yourself is ‘What kind of bait am I?’ Do yo want to become an influencer and drive a high-performing team?


# 5. RCLs have an expandable toolkit with a wide range of strategies that is constantly being revised and improved. They are not afraid of using new techniques that they are borrowing from others and adapt them.

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# 6 RCLs have the capacity to use more than one style of leadership.

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# 7 RCLs know what competitors are up to. They use this intelligence data to energize the people who work around them.

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# 8 RCL are committed to constantly improving what they are doing. They are driven by targets.

# 9 RCL are resilient and courageous when dealing with opposition, failure, uncertainty, and risk.

This blog on How to become the change you want to see gives you an opportunity to think about practical solutions to start the change. Thank you as ever for stopping by. What do you think of what you’ve read? I hope it’s helpful if you are thinking of looking for an Executive and Leadership Coach who does virtual coaching. Feel free to comment below or Tweet me @NadinePowrie with any comments or email me at

On your path to becoming a Real Change Leader, join my ‘having a difficult conversation’ webinar on 10th September at 1.30pm. You can book the webinar here.

In the meantime read my blog on it.


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I will be covering:

  • How you are making the difficult conversation even harder before you even start.
  • Common mistakes almost everyone makes going into difficult conversations.
  • How to transform your fear of difficult conversations into becoming a confident communicator.

I very much look forward to seeing you there.


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