Business Owners need to be change agents

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.

Published by edstillman

I grew up in Carlsbad, north San Diego County, lost my dad as a teenager, went into the USAF for four years and hired on with 3M in 1969. Received my AA from Santa Barbara City College, BA and Masters from Redlands University and after 33 plus years, I retired from 3M in 2002. As I look back on my life, I have been creating myself and developing my skill sets to be a business coach and a Vistage Chair. I am president of SEOT, a "personal improvement" consulting firm spending most of my time working with Central Texas executives running small to medium size for-profit companies who are focusing on improving their profitability greater than their competition. My area of interest is assisting senior executives in creating a better balance between business commitments and personal relationships. I also facilatate three leadership labs each consisting of a dozen owners, presidents and CEOs. We meet monthly both in a group setting as well as in a 1-to-1 coaching session. Our focus is to sharpen each others' skills in becoming better leaders, making better decisions and taking ourselves and companies to that next level. Who are we? My members are experienced top executives who recognize that they don’t have all the answers and who actively seek the company of successful peers—both to give and receive insights and ideas. My members mine the 200 plus years of chief executive experience that comes together in our monthly meetings and members are eager to offer their own experience and insights in the process. As a group, we spend our time exploring topics members can't discuss anywhere else. My members have many other places where they can engage in idle, "cocktail party" chatter. Our mission is to provide the setting for discussing the "undiscussable." Where or who can you go to for confidential, honest feedback to assist you in minimizing your personal "Worry List"?

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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