Stoking the Change Revolution Engine



What is the Change Revolution?

It’s many things.  The most important part being YOU! 

You impact the people around you each day in more ways that you can imagine.  How you act, react, and behave influences those around you.  

I’m personally on a mission to bring positive change to both businesses and to the people around me.  It’s not about dissatisfaction but rather about driving positive change.  I first wrote about this in my article The Revolution of One.  

We as individuals have more power than ever before.  We can each take accountability for our own behaviors.  Too often people slip into behaviors because it is easy.  They think “I don’t want to rock the boat.”  To this I ask if not you, than who? 

I believe that we should say “I can make a difference.”  I’ll do the right thing even if it might be harder to do. 

I believe that we each set an example, whether positive or negative, for those around us.

I firmly believe that if enough people act as individuals to be accountable and behave collaboratively we can gain momentum and begin the change process, even if organizational leadership is on board. 

For the American Revolution, it started somewhere, with someone believing things could be different.  There was no leader at the top.  It was individuals banding together because they believed things could be different.  Eventually leaders emerged.


Who’s Involved in the Revolution?

I wrote about a few individuals who I believe are positive change leaders in my article about Penguin Leadership.  I have another name to add to the list of Penguin Leaders, Heather Stagl.   Heather is a blogger and radio host of “The Change Agent’s Dilemma: How to Influence Change Without Authority” on BlogTalkRadio.  She is the author of the book, 99 Ways to Influence Change.  Below I’ve included a copy of her favorite blog from last year, 3 Traps that Keep Change Agents from Getting the Support They Need.

Last month, Heather interviewed Garrett Gitchell (one of the Penguins), President at Vision to Work  for her Radio Show.  To listen to Garrett’s show click here.  I’m up tomorrow, June 21st, for her 11 am ET show.  Click here to listen to my show live.

The title for the show is the “Revolution of One: Finding the Courage to Drive Change.”  A few of the questions we will seek to answer include:

  • What it means to be a Revolution of One?
  • Who can start a revolution?
  • How do you know you need to start one?
  • What about driving change requires courage?
  • How do you build courage?
  • Where does it come from?

Need Some Help?

If you would like help working through your challenges, driving your individual or business changes, drop me a line.  I’d love to help you either change yourself, change your business, or drive your own Change Revolution.

As promised, here’s Heather’s article…

3 Traps that Keep Change Agents from Getting the Support They Need

“It is common knowledge that in order for your change initiative to grow beyond your own span of influence you need leadership buy-in.  The truth is you need much more than approval; as a change agent you need leaders in your organization to take action that supports your initiative.

The trouble is, leaders often don’t do what is needed to implement change, even if they agree it should happen. You may think, If only they would (fill in the blank), you would be able to make some real progress.

This lack of proper leadership support is the top challenge for most change agents.  It frequently stays that way because change agents get stuck by the following traps.

1.  “It’s not my place.”

Allison was a supervisor who had been given a special assignment to implement the recommendations that resulted from an employee survey.  The biggest roadblock to improvement, she decided, was her boss’s boss, the very person who had commissioned the survey.  Allison’s boss agreed but would not do anything about it.  “What can I do?” Allison asked, “It’s not my place to address the issues with my boss’s boss.”

The organizational hierarchy can seem like an insurmountable hurdle over which to affect change.  When the person whose support you need is outside of one degree of authority, it can seem like political suicide to attempt to do something about it.  From this position of helplessness, it is easy to get stuck hoping he will figure it out on his own.

2.  “That’s just the way they are.”

Dan was a senior manager who worked directly for the CEO.  Dan’s key initiative to improve the company was to develop and solidify accountability to procedures.  The CEO, while supporting the initiative verbally, did not want to abide by procedures himself.  It was the CEO who had embodied the previously lackadaisical culture.  “I can’t do anything about it.  That’s just the way he is,” Dan lamented.

We often assume that the behaviors of others reflect an inner character trait.  This assumption is so common that psychologists call it the fundamental attribution error.  When you consider that someone will not support you because it is part of his DNA, of course you would automatically chalk it up as a lost cause.  You get trapped knowing it is impossible to change someone else.

3.  “He just doesn’t like me.”

John was a project manager who needed key data from the manager of another department.  However, John’s phone calls and e-mails requesting the information were repeatedly ignored.  John asked his boss to request the same information, and it was immediately handed over.  “Maybe she just doesn’t like me,” was John’s reasoning.

This trap is the mirror image of the fundamental attribution error.  Instead of thinking the lack of support is caused by her character, you think the lack of support is your own fault.  Whenever you interpret her behavior as a personal slight – she doesn’t respect you, she doesn’t like you, she doesn’t trust you – it traps you with self-doubt.  Insecurity is a lousy place from which to exert influence as a change agent.

Allison, Dan and John are composites of real change agents who were stuck.  But none of their traps were inherently real.  The traps were assumptions they made about the leaders and the organization.

The first step in getting out of a trap is to recognize that you may be in one.   Separate the facts from your assumptions about them.  From there, you can select a new point of view and step out of the trap, so you can find new ways to get the support you need to implement change.”

If you liked Heather’s article on 3 Traps that Keep Change Agents from Getting the Support They Need, you can read more of her blogs by clicking here.


  1. Great article Faith. I will look forward to hearing you tomorrow on the radio show. Gail

Guiding Principles

- Think Holistically
- Seek the Root Causes
- Respect the Individual
- Demonstrate Accountability
- Collaborate with Clients
- Work with Integrity, Always
- Relate to the Business Strategy
- Ensure Alignment
- Demonstrate Responsibility
- Transfer Skills

Thoughts and Quotes