To change the world for the good, the multiple authors of Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change recommend a three-stage process. As author of multiple books on change, I was eager read about the new science whereof they speak.
However, their content confirms what a Jungian analyst reminded me of in response to a recent blog on Therapists as Positive Change Agents. Namely, there’s nothing new on leadership under the sun – just infinite variations on a few important themes.
In fact, with the exception of a single random remark debunking the role of intuition in the decision-making process, their worldview is remarkably compatible with the Positive Paradigm of Change. Here’s how it translates into the Bible-, Yoga- and Einstein-compatible Unified Theory Wheel:
Authors Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler speak to our common challenge. “How can the leader as alarm sounder cut through the noise to effectively wake the unaware up from their slumbers?”
Their solution, like the Positive Paradigm of Change, recognizes a necessary relationship between motivation and action (ability). However, I see the two as residing on qualitatively different, interior levels of a two-directional life wheel. They posit three paired levels of influence – personal, social and organizational. This yields a total of six areas which can either impede or accelerate positive change. The key is to harness all six and focus them like a laser on a finely tuned purpose.
In Positive Paradigm context, the universal atom-like structure repeats on every scale of magnitude. The individual is a complete unit. By extension, so is the family. The ongoing units of business and government organization are all multi-level organisms, each with its unique motives and action abilities.
But rather than side-track deep into academese, I’ll focus instead on applying the concept of Influence (focused, effective leadership) to my ongoing discussion of survival and Millennials. As the generation apparently disinherited by their elders, Millennials have little ego-investment in the dysfunctional paradigms that have gotten the world into its current political-economic mess. So they’re the most likely to welcome and champion a Positive Paradigm shift.
Here’s the premise: While marketers are correct in selling Millennials as the best hope for the future, as of yet, the hope is only potential. In “When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call?” the very real danger – along with its hidden opportunity – is explored. Millennials are fluent to a fault in all things digital. But there’s an inherent risk in lopsided over-investment. What would happen if, overnight, their iPads ceased to work and they were cut off from their social networks? They might suddenly become as helpless as fish out of water.
The hidden upside to their imbalanced addictions to things digital and social remains to be realized. To actualize this potential, the correlations between the ancient science of change and modern binary digital computer language must be drawn. To repeat, when they recognize that they contain in their innermost DNA the very same potentials that drive computers, that their brain functions are limitless beyond even the most powerful digital instruments, then there’s real hope.
In response to the blog When the Lights Go Out, D.R. Baker wrote a complimentary comment, calling it my best, most relevant work yet. He complained about relatives whose addiction to their gadgets seemed mindless and asked for suggestions as to how he could control the situation.
My response was that, in general, it’s better to focus on self-control rather than controlling others. Since D.R. is familiar with the Book of Change, I suggested that he query the book for insight into his specific situation.
His question, however, got me thinking. I should do the same with my compassionate concern for Millennials. It’s not enough to tell them they have marvelous, latent potential but are at risk, or to suggest wherein the positive future lies. I’ve written books on change and survival. I’ve repeatedly tweeted Einstein’s warning, “It will take a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” But that’s apparently not the alarm that suffices to wake sleepers up.
I would have thought Einstein’s wake-up call was powerful and sufficient motivation. But that’s my point of view. What’s theirs? In a future blog I’ll present the results of asking, “What benefit does the Book of Change offer the Millennial generation?” In addition, I’ll ask, “How should this answer be presented? What’s the right, most influential approach for me to take?”