I was watching an old Frasier episode the other night, and aside from laughing hysterically I was reminded of how difficult change can be, and how we often yearn for a blanket from our past.
In this particular episode, Frasier found a bar that Daphne frequented, and found there the comfort he used to feel at the bar in Cheers. I remember the Cheers theme song to “Cheers,” which often brought tears to my eyes when I heard where everybody knows your name.
The most difficult part of driving change is that you’re rarely part of the group, sitting around the bar, complaining about management. Instead, you are the management, and you’re forcing people to take actions that are beyond their comfort zone.
While you know the actions are a necessity for survival, sometimes you yearn to be one of the guys. You want to enter the room and have everyone yell “NORM!” instead of whispering to each other with looks of dread.
I am a change warrior. Within the next week or so I will be releasing my book titled Real People, Real Change: Stories of a Change Warrior In The Business World. In it you will find my stories as a change warrior, and included will be the times I felt like an island surrounded by a sea of frustrated, uncomfortable people.
The good news is that the best change warriors will ultimately see the initiatives move forward and people eventually accept the destination, but the warrior is rarely celebrated.
Instead, we move on to our next challenge. Why? Because we can’t help ourselves. I enter every organization with a desire to fit in, but soon see that there are problems that others won’t face or discuss.
I can’t help myself. I simply can’t accept obstacles, and my solutions often create discomfort.
So, I’ll never be Norm, and I’ll rarely be a part of the team with people clamoring to invite me to dinner. But I will always know that I helped people and organizations improve by facing huge obstacles courageously.
Once those obstacles are overcome, I will mount my horse and ride away, alone, and satisfied.