Be the light of darkness
As I strolled around the streets few days ago, I could smell the familiar scent of crackers, lights and the hurried buzz of vehicles driving past me.
Diwali the festival of lights was finally there, the festival that is the harbinger of lights, that is a precursor of change sounding the death knells of the dying year and striking the clarion call of the new year was here.
So, I asked myself am I going to be the one who will be the precursor of change or the follower of change. Am I going to be that light that springs from the womb of darkness?
It happens with each one of us- in our personal lives, in our professional lives, everywhere. When you see something in your organisation that needs to be changed, you're likely to address the issue in one of two ways: you can either be a part of the darkness or you can hold in yourself the seed of light.
You can either complain about it and spell out what other people need to do to bring about the change or you'll step up and, without pointing a finger at anyone, outline what you're prepared to do to help bring about that change.
Let's talk about that latter- the light of darkness.
To illustrate this point let's take up an example. In case you find that there has been a deviation from the processes in your company and you tend to push it under the rug saying," it was not my fault" or blaming others saying," if he could have done that we would have been saved" you are a part of the darkness.
If you become a constructive irritant by saying, "let us figure out how we can fix this". Believe me, nearly all problems can be solved if we summon the courage to step up and become an agent of change, rather than waiting for someone else to do it.
No one is saying it's easy, especially in uncertain times. With the economy in the throes of a financial Tsunami, people are reluctant to become agents of change because they don't want to rock the boat and challenge status quo.
There's indeed a tendency, when things are the way they are right now, for all of us to go by-no news is good news, as we do not want to create ripples by stirring the water.
If you think that way, you have become superfluous in the organisation and it might not make any difference if you were gone. So, my dear friends become the light of darkness.
Be the first ray to dispel fear and ignorance. Don't point fingers of blame, be a solution that challenges things as they are and you will be consistently more highly-rated by your managers, and are more likely to get promoted.
During the tough times, people get a tough assignment and they wind up trying to rationalise to the people above them why they're not succeeding.
I always tell people, your bosses already knew it was a tough assignment, and already knew about the constraints-they've proba- bly spent most of their time trying to defend themselves to their bosses. What they really want is someone who says, "Look, I know there are a lot of constraints, but let me tell you what I'm going to do in spite of that."
Here is what you should do: Find one thing:
Think of something at work that you want to do something about immediately to move in the direction of the change you seek. For instance, you feel that
Being disruptive does not mean that you hamper progress. Disruption always has roots of change and change brings progress. So always look at things from a fresh perspective. Remember, if the caterpillar had not thought three dimensional, he would not have become a butterfly. So, if you feel that things are not being done in a right manner, propose a change. Challenge status quo- that would help you become a leader.
Make yourself heard:
This is where most of us fail. We are all able to suggest and propose changes, however, where we are found wanting is we just suggest those changes ad hoc and they fall on deaf ears. Remember nobody is ready to accept changes that easily. Whether he's found that there's any difference between the genders in how willing people tend to be to step up and assume the responsibility for change in an organisation.
Find a few allies and start to meet. Focus on what you can do. The steps you can take, no matter how small they may be. Make it your mission to speak up and make others better.
Remember, you may have to go overboard to praise effort as well as results, especially if someone goes beyond his or her role of responsibilities. After this, you may need to come up with ideas for new products and innovations even if it's not in your job description. Win customers for life even if it's not your department, and generally go bigger than whatever your role says you must do.
Be the initiator of light:
Don't let your lack of position get in the way of your influence. How could you lead right now even though you have no position? What steps can you take to make change? Instead of blaming others and your own self, be the initiator of light and dispel darkness- both within and without. (The writer is a Punjab- based education counsellor with 12 years of experience. She can be contacted at email@example.com)