8 Tips on being a Change Agent

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  1. Not afraid to take chances and make mistakes: Companies say they love these types of people and want them in their ranks. A workforce of just do’ers doesn’t create world class companies. Yet, making mistakes can get you fired. Hey, no one said being a change agent was easy.
  2. Energy level that is close to maniacal: Yipes! Spend some time with low energy, stuck at their desks people and you will crave this. Its kind of like a race horse though: set loose a high energy risk taker without guidance and you end up with an isolated employee.
  3. Visual acuity for seeing the forest AND the trees: Change agents must have the intellectual skill and the focus to bounce between strategy and execution. Helping people see a vision and then guiding them through the steps necessary to make that vision a reality is critical
  4. Minimal ego: The best way to change a company is by making people think an idea is their own. Hold on to your ideas too tightly or attempt to control the derivatives and you inhibit your influence. It is like writing a book or creating a painting and telling your audience how to interpret it; you limit your audience pretty quickly
  5. ENTJ; need I say more for those in the know. If you don’t recognize this then Google it.
  6. Live and work authentically: We all know the co-worker profile: the one who just seems to always have a hidden agenda or who is always holding something back.  Relating in a genuine way with others is critical to ultimately leading change. People spot fakes quickly. We have lots of practice with our politicians.
  7. Learn your craft: Whether providing cleanings services or manufacturing and selling QKD systems the change agent must take the time to learn the specifics of the company’s products. If you want to be a change agent and currently sit in HR or AR, knowing the business of the business will gain you credibility. So many we come in contact with know their function but don’t know their business.
  8. A change agent does not necessarily have to be a leader: I saw IBM incent the individual contributor with bonuses for new ideas. Some of the best money making and money saving ideas came from the front line individual contributor. Leaders who want to be change agents should remember change can be encouraged from all levels of the organization.

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