Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” For a long time, I thought I understood what he meant, but I was only partially enlightened. It wasn’t until I faced obstacles that stopped me in my tracks that I began to understand what he meant. Are you waiting for others to change to fit your needs?
How’s That Plan Working for You?
Last week a co-worker complained that another department wasn’t giving him all the information he needed. It had been going on for weeks. I asked him what he’d tried to remedy the problem and he said, “I told them twice, and my rule is after that it’s on them. I’m not going to do it for them.” The bottom line is that this strategy has meant he hasn’t had the information he needs for several weeks. The person he’s hurting the most is himself. He's waiting for others to change to fit his needs.
The Sunday Paper
Last Sunday I was having breakfast with my father. It’s a Sunday morning ritual when he feels up to it. We rotate restaurants. This week he chose Denny’s. He likes their biscuits and gravy and their coffee. I asked if he’d read an article on the sports page of the Sunday paper. He hadn’t because the paper was thrown on his porch not put in the newspaper holder below his mailbox. My dad is 88 years old, and he’s afraid to bend over on his porch for fear of falling.
I suggested we get him one of those grabber sticks, and his first reaction was that it wasn’t a bad idea. But then he said no, "They’re not doing their job they need to put it in the box! And if they don’t I’ll cancel the paper!" I didn’t argue with him, but my dad looks forward to the morning paper. He plays the word games, reads the sports section, and looks at the grocery ads (he’s a retired Grocery Manager). If he follows through with his threat, he’ll miss all of this. It won’t be the newspaper organization that loses, it will be my father.
I’m Not Throwing any Stones
There have been times I’ve looked at circumstances out of my control and thought, that’s not my responsibility. And there have been times, more than once, that I’ve given up trying and begun blaming others for my failure to hit my goals.
“When we point fingers and pass the blame — little will change. Only by taking responsibility can change be affected. Don’t concentrate on what you cannot control; concentrate on what you can control. If you wait for others to change to meet your expectations … you may be waiting a long time. It’s easy to say it’s not your responsibility, or it’s someone else’s fault, but if that’s your plan, you have no plan. How’s the idea of expecting others to change to fit your needs working so far?” Be the Change - Stop Griping, Start Helping
Make a New Plan
The bottom line is that whenever we allow circumstances to prevent us from achieving our best we give ourselves an excuse. And here’s the difficult thing: Our excuse may be real, it might be out of our control, but does that mean we accept it as a reason to give up? Or do we look for a way to improve the situation, because if you’ve tried waiting for others to change to fit your needs, how’s that plan worked for you so far?
Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren, and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever and The New Manager’s Workbook: A Crash Course in Effective Management.