Over the past few months I’ve had several opportunities to visit with groups of people whose lives are being impacted by policies they don’t like or agree with.
Most of them have communicated their concerns with the first level key stakeholder – hoping for a fast change. Now it’s clear that although that person cares, change can’t happen from that level.
So individually some of them have:
- Sent one email to the decision maker.
- Sent more than one email to the decision maker.
- Sent one email and attended one meeting.
Collectively their over-riding belief is that the key-stakeholder can’t be trusted and change just isn’t going to happen.
So most have stopped communicating while others never bothered to communicate directly with the one person that can make change happen.
At the same time, they are still so troubled by the situation that each time the topic comes up, almost all of them continue to express lots of frustration and absorb the not so positive energy of those around them.
So why persist?
- Because you have to impact knowledge before you impact attitude, and you have to impact attitude before you impact behavior. (Ken Blanchard)
- Because marketing experts say it takes 7 times for someone to see a message before they remember it. ~And that means you’ve just impacted their knowledge. (And you still need to impact their attitude before their behavior changes.)
- Because their lives are still being impacted and they are still spending their time and energy sharing their concerns with each other. So why not channel at least 50% of that energy towards a solution?
- Because they haven’t tried to work together yet and together they will fuel each other with more data, more logic and more energy. (And they’ll be a lot harder to forget or ignore.)
- Because change takes time – even in empowered environments.
- Because their children are watching and learning.
- Because life will be better when change happens.
- Because they will learn and grow in the process.
Sometimes you may change the world for only one person. Sometimes you may change the world for a handful of people.
But it is possible to change an entire system. And what if… You lead a change that impacts the world?
When have you persisted? What drove you to keep at it?
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