As I was waking up this morning thinking about my life, some of my failures and some of my achievements, I could suddenly see things so clearly. It all seems so simple, the fact that I was born a Change Agent. Why did I have so much trouble in high school with the Jesuits? Because I was a troublesome student who wanted change. I wanted them to open their minds to allow a different thought from what they had been taught. Fat chance.
And in the Army? I questioned the value of what was in their book. Why did they send platoon after platoon after platoon up that damn enemy hill and then watch them carry us off dead or wounded? And oh the potatoes I peeled.
I can see now how the parent owner of our railroad sent their very best leader in from Canada to either change our failing railroad or else they would sell it; and how I, just by blind luck and passion, happened onto the scene stumbling in with all of my badly needed ideas on employee communications and compassion and challenge and how they were a fit for what was required and although there was resistance from the status quo still we managed to succeed somehow and create the needed change in time to save the organization.
And this morning lying in my bed it was like an open sesame experience and I could see why many of my concepts were welcomed in the speaking industry and then into a few children’s classrooms and then into the safety departments of major industries and even in small ways into the military.
And am I trying to imply that I was a brilliant guru, the wizard of change? Of course not. It is just that for a brief moment this morning in my mind I could see a tiny spark of understanding, just why as one woman I met explained to me, the reason she had her second marriage annulled just a week after the wedding, “He wanted me to change.”
People resist change. Organizations resist change. It makes them uncomfortable. It is a threat to their status quo. There is fear that change could threaten ones very presence within an organization or maybe even lives.
I was born with an overactive “what if” factor in my mind. And perhaps with such a factor came a large lack of tact. That inability to suffer fools gladly. And, of course, overdoses of impatience and ego.
I did alright, you know. Not great, nor fantastic. Not brilliantly. But considering my lack of further formal education and lack of organization in my life it is amazing how I survived and landed on my feet so many times.
So what have I learned being a change agent? That it takes an awful lot of luck and tenacity and the support of a lot of other special people at the right time to survive.
And now after that dream or that Alpha session I experienced this morning I feel better about the whole thing.