If you drive a car or tractor on a laneway that is soft, you will quickly turn it to mud. If you drive on it regularly, you will create a rut. On some of the farms around us, there are ruts in lanes, in fields, and at gateways that are nearly a foot deep. When you drive through the lane most people drive in the ruts as it is a smoother ride. The problem arises when the rut get too deep that the bottom of your car catches on the top of the rut and your wheels begin to spin.
Similar to leadership, bering a change maker can be both lonely and draining. While it is important to learn to work within the normal ways of doing things (the ruts) of the team or organisation, you are regularly pushing to take a different path. Change makers tend also to be aware of the rut becoming too deep that the team will get ‘stuck’ on the edge of the rut and spin their wheels.
However, change makers also know that once in a rut is it nearly impossible to change course and make a hard left or right turn. The trick is to change course by a small amount (e.g. 1%) just as your are entering the rut (aka ‘the way things are done around here’). And yet, rarely can one person do it alone. Often change makers need help in holding the steering wheel at a 1% angle. The beginning is usually the bumpiest. Therefore, change makers can’t work alone, they need others to help them.
However, if they can make the 1% change at the begining and hold the direction through the bumpy bits, quick soon they won’t be in the rut at all.
But this is very draining work. And so the change maker needs to be resilient. As a change maker you will receive a lot of the criticism, frustration, and anger. Therefore one of the key skill sets of change makers is building their resilience.
How do you build yours?
Preaching to the choir