35@35 #14: Dead Ends

sinking-shipTC's Principles and Guidelines for Life #14: "If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got." Yes. I did totally steal this one from Einstein.

I have found that doing some study of human personalities (including assessments of my own personality) has been extremely helpful to me both in understanding myself and in learning to interact in a healthy manner with others - including within a community setting.

Using the DiSC personality system, I have quite a bit of "I" in me. The I personality is generally playful and innovative. Think 'squirrel' or 'otter'.

So I'm not only okay with change, I crave it. I want to do something differently just to keep it interesting for myself.

Vastly different than the I personality is the S personality - somebody who is Steady, reliable, dependable, loyal. Thing 'golden retriever'.

11% of the population has I as their primary trait.

69% of the population has S as their primary trait.

This is why, when you try to initiate mass changes, you get resistance.

When Facebook updates something, all the S personality people on your wall are upset because they don't like change.

So for me, if something isn't working, I'm almost happy, because it turns into a puzzle - what new approach can I try to improve this?

But 7 out of 10 people would rather keep doing something ineffective than try something new.

As a leader in an organization, I have to be sensitive to this. One of the most effective approaches to leading change is by using a model called here to there that Bill Hybels leverages.

Paint a picture of where your organization or group is at, and make sure everybody sees all the problems.

Imagine you're on a sinking ship - you need to take them around to all the places that water is gushing in and show them the areas that are underwater so they get a picture of the fact that the ship is indeed sinking.

Only then can you convince them to move off of that ship.

Because for some people - many people, in fact - getting what you've always got is preferable to doing something new. Even if what you're getting is effectively useless.

So Einsteins statement, which I have totally adopted as a proverb in my own life, is brilliant. But not everyone is going to be able to embrace it immediately. They may need help making that jump.



35@35 is a blog series by Thomas Christianson which involves 35 blog posts in 2014 on 35 things he has learned at the age of 35.