Want Change? Play Your Wildcard!!

Nobody wants or likes change except the person who thought of it! Think about it for a moment. Leaders say they like change but they only like change when it’s his or her own idea! The only thing that never changes, is CHANGE!

I’ve been guilty of saying I like change, that I embrace change, but I’m like everyone else, I only change when the fear of pain or discomfort outweighs my fear of change. To be a change agent means to be intentional and disciplined about looking for things to change in a positive way to improve our desired results.

Let’s face it. We have a lot of reasons that change is hard. We have things that work against us from the time we are conceived, right. Those things we can call the FIVE C’s, four of which are out of our control and the fifth, what I call the Wildcard.

Let’s deal out our hands and see what we can do to play them in a way that brings positive change to our personal lives as well as our teams and organizations.

The first card we are dealt deals with our DNA. We call this one our Chemistry Card. All of us inherit certain characteristics and traits from our parents and ancestors. We get our looks as well as our temperaments from our mom and dad, sometimes in a profound way, sometimes in subtle hints. We can’t do anything about this C, it is dealt to us all. Sometimes it is a good card, sometimes it’s not.

The second card we are dealt is the Circumstance Card. One person is born in a prosperous country, another in a third world country stricken with many misfortunes. We don’t get to pick it before we get here, it’s a card that is dealt from the deck of different circumstances and situations. Many people plan their families, the number of children, when and where they will be born, and with today’s technology, sometimes even the sex of the child. But, we had no choice in the matter, good circumstances or bad, we get what we were dealt.

The third C card is the Connection Card. When we were born, we lived among a certain group of people. I was born in rural West Virginia, then as a small child, moved to Chicago Illinois, where I attended grade school. Then, during my middle school and high school years, I lived back in West Virginia. I had no choice in who would be my teachers, my classmates, church family, etc. My connections were determined by my parents. I had some control over who would be my closest friends as I grew up, but for the most part, my connections were not always determined by me.

The fourth C is the Consciousness Card. Like I mentioned, where I was born and raised was out of my control, so my language, dialect, and to a certain extent, my accent was determined by someone else. Those who taught and instructed me had the biggest influence in my formative years. If I had born in China, Russia, England, or Nigeria, I would think and act differently than I do currently.

Now comes the Wild Card, the Choices Card! This is the card we were needing when the dealer dealt out our hands. This card gives us options. We can’t go back and change the other four cards can we? Well, maybe we can argue that we can change our Conscious Card, but can only happen if we exercise and play the Wild Card.

When we get our Wild Card we can consciously choose to make changes in our life, with our team or organization, but it means changing how we currently think doesn’t it? Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking we used when we created them.”

Now, you can argue that your thinking didn’t get you into the situation you are in today, the first four C Cards can be your reason, right? Yes, you might be right about where you currently are, someone else made choices that brought you to where you are at. But when you exercise the Wild Card, you get to choose what you will learn, where you will live, the people you will spend time with, and what direction you want to take your life, team, or organization in.

Yes, your team or organization. The principle is the same as for a personal life. When you begin to lead, you either inherit or create the team or business you have. When you inherit a team, you inherit the past leader’s team, its current level of skill, its mindset, and its culture. To change it is just like changing the direction of an individual’s life. The bigger the team, the longer it will take to make change. Expecting to change a very large organization in a short amount of time is like trying to turn the Titanic around in a bathtub!

No matter where you see yourself or your team, exercise your Wild Card and never let your reasons be your excuses for not going from where you are to where you want to be.

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