The first requirement for making change is an awareness that something needs to change, that something is wrong, and that something could be better. This awareness is the spark that brings attention to the problem.
The person who creates the awareness of the problem often gets a lot of attention for creating that awareness. The fact that this person can explain what ‘s wrong and what needs to be better provides them an audience, especially if they are credible when describing what needs to change. This is an important role, but not the most important role in creating change.
The most important person when it comes to making change happen is the person who is willing to take action to make something different. The person who is willing to own the outcome and lead the change is the critical element in making change. Without someone stepping up and taking responsibility, change doesn’t happen. Without the leader of change stepping up and accepting responsibility, all you have is awareness of the problems that exist. This awareness is crucial, but on its own, it doesn’t fix anything.
There are a lot of people who can tell you what’s wrong. There are many who will be happy to share all of the things that they believe need to change with anyone who will listen. There are far fewer who are willing to step up and lead that change.
The people who make a difference are not the people who talk about change or what might be done to make things better. The people who step up, take action, build consensus, lead the change, and own the outcome are the people who make a difference.
Knowing what needs to change and bringing attention to it is important. So is knowing what has to change for things to be better. But leading change is what makes the difference.
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