A profession

To practice a profession one must have acquired mastery of an academic discipline as well as a technique for applying this special knowledge to the problems of everyday life.  A profession is therefore intellectual in content, practical in application.” – H. G. Rickover

There isn’t one accepted profession that seems to appropriately “fit” what it means to be someone who is driving change.  Whatever the profession is or should be called, I can wholeheartedly agree with Admiral Rickover’s statement that a profession is both intellectual and practical.  You need to know something and then you need to do something with that knowledge.

And, if you subscribe to Peter Senge’s description of personal mastery then you won’t read “acquired mastery of an academic discipline” in the narrow sense of “got a degree in X all those years ago,” but rather as a continuous building upon past learning toward greater intellectual mastery which then provides the ideas to carry forward to greater practical mastery in application.  Keep learning.  Keep doing.  You’ll be a professional.

Now, even if other people don’t know what to call you as you drive change, be sure to take the job seriously, and act as a professional anyway.  Study.  Apply.  Study more.  Apply more.  Keep driving.  Keeping winning.  If they have to call you something, let them call you great for all you’ve accomplished.

Join me in the ranks of the professionals.

Why not try?

 

 

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Stop waiting. Start learning.

Have you ever caught yourself in a meeting thinking, “How does that guy know about that and I don’t?”

Have you ever toured a new place and wondered, “Why didn’t my boss show me this sooner?”

Have you ever left training saying, “Why didn’t the company send us to this years ago?”

If you’ve had those moments, you’ve seen what you’re missing by waiting for others to drive you to learn.

You don’t have to wait.

You can drive your own learning.

There are lots of ways to drive your own learning, but if you’re more interested in steps that in multiple strategies, you can try these four steps.

Step 1: Choose to drive your own learning.  It really is that simple to start.

Step 2: Read.  You’ll have to read books if you want to learn at a fast pace.

Step 3: Create opportunities to see new things and meet new people.  This step varies depending on your strengths.  If seeing new things and meeting new people sounds awful to you, focus on finding a person who likes those things who’s willing to bring back all the best information to you.  It’s not an ideal set up, but it’s better than nothing.

Step 4: Find the training you need and figure out a way to get it. Often finding training is easy; figuring out a way to get it is harder.  If at first you’re told no, don’t give up.  Find another route.

Step 5: Practice with the books you’ve read, the people you’ve met, the places you’ve been and the things you’ve been told.  Only through practice will you get better at anything.

Are you willing to drive your own learning?

If you’re nodding at the computer screen, fabulous.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  If you want some hints or tips on Steps 2 through 5, let me know.

If you’re shaking your head, wondering if driving your own learning will make any difference for you, maybe hearing what it felt like for me to come to Step 1 and what I’ve done since, will push you off the fence.  You can check out my story below the fold.

If you’re not interested in driving your own learning, let me know if you change your mind.  I’ll be here.

The Story Continues…

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Driving Change versus Driving People

Learning new things often requires learning new terms, especially when the old terms (e.g., leadership, change management) are overburdened with vague and contradictory definitions and descriptions.

Through my work with large organizational change, I’ve learned that I need new terms to describe two very different change methods, driving change versus driving people.

I’ve found driving change produces both near and long term success while driving people sometimes creates near term results but rarely produces long term success.

With the difference in results, you would think most people trying to make a change would be driving change. Yet most  are daily driving people.

How can you tell which one you’re doing?  First you need to know the descriptions and definitions of each term.

I intend to make a sharp and immediate distinction between the term driving change and the term driving people.

Let’s picture something together.

You and 20 other people live in the middle of a huge forest.  Last night the forest was hit by a terrible storm.  The only road to get out of the forest was in bad repair before, but surveying the damage this morning you see newly downed trees and whole sections of road were washed out by the overflowing streams.  The goal is to get the 20 people and you out of the forest.  You aren’t the boss.  You’re just one of the 21 people.  But, the boss has instructed you to get everyone out of the forest, including him.  What do you do? The Story Continues…

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Teach them to fish or fish for them

Here’s a re-post of something I put up at my other blog.  There’s no link back, just a re-post.  Call this moving content from the old to the new.  As I got only minor comments on this last time I posted it, I’ll hide it behind the fold so if you really want to read it you can find it, but if you don’t it won’t hurt your scan of the page.  Enjoy:

The Story Continues…

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