Who told you to do that?

When you’re driving change you’re often asked, “Who told you to do that?”

I used to answer, “No one.”

Now I answer, “I did.”

“No one,” is the answer of someone governed by external motivation: boss’ orders, job descriptions and coworker expectation. “No one,” announces the absence of an external order, but doesn’t fill the absence with anything.

“I did,” is the answer of someone governed by internal motivation.  “I did,” fills the place usually held by a boss’ order or a line in a job description with an active, thinking human being, choosing to create their future.  The people I’ve observed  answer, “I did,” are people pushing the frontier of excellence in their job and for their organization.  “I did,” people are capable of and willing to drive change. They act first so others can choose to follow.

From my experience, if you want to drive change, you must understand how you got from “No one.” to “I did,” because you’ll want to (and need to) share that story with others.

Like a traveler sharing my route map, I plan to write, in a series of posts, how I journeyed from “No one,” to “I did.”

Consider this series of posts the narrative version of my map, my journey from “No one” to “I did” plotted on my Motivation Perspective Coordinate System.

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