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There's a popular opinion that says followers resist change and leaders like change. That's not true at all.

Most of the time, leaders like changes only if the changes were their idea! Very few people prefer change, for the simple reason that change requires more work than maintaining the status quo.

If we are going to change an organization, we must begin by changing ourselves. Change is not a once and for all kind of thing—if only it were that easy.

No, changing ourselves is a lifelong process. Not only that, but we must be intentional about how we want to change. I have found that:

1) When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs
The following strategy has been particularly effective in helping me bring about change in my thinking. I've trained myself to think in ways that are:
  1. Positive - This allows me to look for the best and receive the best.
  2. Creative - This allows me to find answers when others quit looking.
  3. Bottom line - This allows me to prioritize and get rid of busy work.
  4. Simple - This allows me to communicate my thoughts to everyone.
  5. Practical - This allows me to apply principles to everyday life.
  6. Continual - This allows me to assimilate everyday experiences into projects that are "on the table."

2) When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations
Belief is the knowledge that we can do something. It's the inner feeling that what we undertake, we can accomplish. For the most part, all of us have the ability to look at something and know whether or not we can do it. So in belief there is power: our eyes are opened; our opportunities become plain; our visions become realities.

There are two fundamental beliefs we must have before we begin to see changes. First, that change is possible. Second, that change is profitable. Until we believe that both are a possibility and that the change will ultimately be in our best interests, our ability to change is crippled.

I also believe:
  • God has a plan for me.
  • God wants me to fulfill that plan.
  • God will help me succeed in that plan.
  • I can know God's plan for my life.
  • I can experience God's blessing on my life.
  • I must change to grow with God's plan for my life.
  • When I grow, those closest to me grow as well.
  • When my inner circle grows, my organization grows.

So continue to invest the time necessary to explore those areas of your life where you are resisting change. You may just discover the roadblock in leading the change process at work.

This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's
free monthly e-newsletter: Leadership Wired
available at

Author Biography

John C. Maxwell
Web site: Injoy Group
John Maxwell grew up in the 1950s in the small Midwestern city of Circleville, Ohio. John's earliest childhood memory is of knowing that he would someday be a pastor. He professed faith in Christ at the age of three, and reaffirmed that commitment when he was 13. At age 17, John began preparing for the ministry. He attended Circleville Bible College, earning his bachelor's degree in 1969. In June of that same year, he married his sweetheart, Margaret, and moved to tiny Hillham, Indiana, where he began his first pastorate.

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