Become a Change Leader

One certainty in life is that the future holds unpredictable changes. We all start each day with a degree of uncertainty and the lessons and opportunities that life brings to us aren't always welcome.

Even though unpredictability is an inevitable part of life, most of us are afraid to make changes. It's never easy! Change forces us to take risks, become vulnerable, and open ourselves to the unknown. But if you rise above the fear, you can begin to change as a good experience. Beyond every corner is an exciting, new opportunity waiting to be discovered.

The lesson I've learned from working with career transition clients is that they embrace change. They might be scared, but the comfort of doing work that doesn't fully satisfy them takes a back seat to the dream of having ideal work. If it were easy to find a dream job, then everyone would love their work, feel excited about starting there workday and energized at the end of it. This is not the case for the vast majority of people: research has shown that 9 out of 10 people aren't happy at their work. Thus, if you wish to have work that is different from what you are currently doing, you'll have to make a change!

How do you make a change, when you might have mortgages, kids, busy careers and many things to do throughout your days, weeks and months? In order to make a change, you must lead your own change. This is done by becoming what I call a change leader.

Every great leader has one thing in common. They recognize someone must take charge and make the decisions. Strategy is planned and a course of action is begun to achieve change because of that person. It's essential to your future to become your own change leader.

People can make change without being change leaders, but long-term benefits are gained when you have courage to transform your attitude toward change from one of timidity and resistance to one of strength and appreciation of the opportunity to make your life better. Now you can take an active role and manage and direct it - change your views of life from one of struggling to maintain the status quo to always looking for new opportunities and viewing change as a positive force.

All change leaders have this unique quality within them. Change becomes easier when you see it not as the mountain that seems too high, but as a gentle slope. In the journey of life, each step takes you gradually closer to your dream.

What are some of the fears that keep you in your current circumstances instead of changing? Remember the fundamental thing you need to do to make a change is to conquer your fears of the unknown or unfamiliar.

Becoming a change leader begins by evaluating your life now. Do this by recognizing where you are and identifying what areas need to change in order to improve your life. Acknowledge that you can't change everything at once. What you can do is choose an area to work on and take concrete steps, all the while being alert to opportunities to change in other areas you have identified. Mahatmas Gandhi said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Copyright 2004-2005, Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

Joel Garfinkle helps individuals transition into their dream jobs and leads managers and executives to higher levels of professional and personal achievement. Visit Joel on the web at Dream Job Coaching ( and Garfinkle Executive Coaching (