Can You Fix My Boss?

“Please, oh please, tell me that people can change,“ I hear frequently.  And more specifically, can my boss, my co-worker, my spouse, my teenager, or my mother-in-law change?  All of us in consulting professions hear that same question over and over, although it takes a variety of forms:

A picture of Netflix where my son Josh took me to tour. He works there now. Netflix is known for their approach to innovation and willingness to change and adapt.

“Do you believe there’s any hope?”

“He’s too old to change, isn’t he?”

“She’s in power. Why would she do anything differently?”

Sometimes the question is posed as a statement.

“I’m 40 years old, I’m not going to reinvent myself now.”

“I am going to retire in a few years, so let the new kids learn that stuff.”

“She’s too stuck in her ways to try this.”

I’ve said that everyone can be a leader, or can become a better leader. I am even writing a book on the topic. So, clearly, I believe that people can and do change, at all times of their lives and regardless of the circumstances. However, they have to want to change. They have to be motivated. No one changes because YOU want them to change. They change because something within them has prompted them.

In the past decade, research into how our brains work has turned earlier beliefs about brain development on their heads, so to speak. People can change, because their brains can, and do, change. The question is, how can we steer our brains in the direction we want them to go…toward the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, rather than the trash dump? We know these everyday steps create the change:

  1. Voice the desire to change, write it down, and commit.
  2. Ask people you trust to help.
  3. Set clear and measurable goals with dates.
  4. Create mindfulness routines.
  5. Move toward the change slowly, consistently and predictably.

If you would like to explore how you can change, let me know. While we can’t change others, others are constantly watching us. And when we change, they change as well!

How have you successfully changed in the past? What changes are you interested in for your future?

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