Why do change efforts fail?

Misalignment with vision? Lack of leadership? Poor planning? Weak WIIFM? (That’s, What’s in it for me?)

Let’s see…<opens textbook>…yep. All of the above.

That’s okay, you know the methodology. How to be an Influencer and Change Anything. How to overcome the Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

So you create a compelling vision. Communication and training abounds. Inspiring leaders share the dream and pave the golden path toward To-Be Utopia. <angels sing>

But you don’t get everyone there. Maybe another email would have helped? Another feedback session? A different leader? What did you miss?

The jerk with an ulterior motive is what you missed. Maybe the jerk is a whole department or a single individual determined not to come along no matter what. They are going to do it their way. Period.

Sure, the textbooks say flip the jerk and you’ll have the most powerful ally in all of To-Be Utopia Land. That is one option.

What you won’t read (and your change consultant won’t say) is the other option: Kick the jerk off the Golden Path. Stop pandering to selfish motives. Their only WIIFM is their own agenda.

Fire them—whether from your team or from your life—fire them. And refocus on that beautiful To-Be Utopia. <queue the angels>

Good people are found, not changed. They can change themselves, but you can’t change them. You want good people, you have to find them. If you want motivated people, you have to find them, not motivate them.

Jim Rohn 

Shannon Vasko is a natural-born planner with a passion for strategy and integrated communications. © MI Compass Services

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