Even though the economy has forced many to re-evaluate business models, I find that some business owners still have their head in the sand when it comes to change. Evidence of that comes from declining revenue with no attention to what customers are actually buying.

I’m reminded of the story of the hole in the wall–in the 50’s, someone suggested that a burger joint cut a hole in the wall and start selling food to people through the window so the customer wouldn’t even have to get out of their car. At the time, people scoffed at the idea, but I’m pretty sure you realize where that’s taken us today.

So what’s your hole in the wall? If you’re doing things the same way and you’re struggling, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Simon Sinek does a good job of demonstrating this in this video where he talks about drawing a bulls eye to determine where the customer’s pain truly is. If the customer doesn’t have some sort of pain, he or she is not going to pay you X hundreds or thousands of dollars–it’s that simple.

As a leader, it’s your responsibility to be a change agent, which means that you need to get all of the people affected by the company and projects involved to ensure their support and commitment.

Here’s a few qualities that change agents have:

1. They live in the future, not the present. It’s important to have a vision of what could be or should be the dictates the actions.

2. They have passion and inspire people to do great things. Change is difficult, even though it’s always occurring. Many people in your organization may be resistant, and therefore managing change comes with instilling inspiration, and ensuring that people are passionate about making the change.

3. They are self-motivated. The change agent needs to find the motivation to keep the ball rolling on a day-to-day basis. Validation may come at a future date, and the risk is being misunderstood in the short term, and even pulled off course.

4. They have a high degree of emotional intelligence. It’s very important to understand people and human interaction, and developing a high degree of emotional intelligence is paramount. You must have the ability to communicate effectively and take into account all of the opinions and doubts of others.

One thought on “Business Owners need to be change agents

  1. I agree, Ed, looking ahead and preparing for change is a crucial survival skill. I’ve worked with clients who have seen the changes occurring with marketing online and who have been proactive in seizing new opportunities for their companies. The willingness to embrace the change makes the work lighter vs. resisting the entire process which is inevitable anyway.

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