One of the treasures of my life work is I get to hear the deep desires of business leaders.  I get to witness a transformation in their entire BEING as they describe their VISION for their organization, their team, and often for their life.  I have no doubt as we work together to extract a full 3D HD picture that this future is possible and can become a reality IF they are seriously OPEN TO CHANGE.

I embrace change because for me it means learning new things. I enjoy leading change because it means mentoring others through change and creating new ideas.  However like you, I am way more excited about change when it doesn’t mean changing the favorite parts of my world. Those areas that I think are working just perfectly, because they did, after all, get me successfully to HERE.

My favorite stories of CHANGE – LOVE IT or HATE IT are the ones where an executive asks me to work with his/her organization to ‘FIX THEM’, because they won’t….

I smile and then ask how open to change are you?   You know … in order to ‘FIX THEM’?

The response is either “It depends, what did you have in mind?” or an overly enthusiastic


Change the organizational …

Change how people …

Change who does …

Change what process we use to ….

 Yep it’s all fair game. Do what YOU have to do.”

For both, ANYTHING is FAIR GAME or IT DEPENDS, I respond with,

‘What if we start with the person you look at in the mirror every morning?’

This is when I wished I could freeze frame to snap a picture on my iphone.  The look on their faces is priceless.

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances,

but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.”  James Allen

Once again I smile and slowly say,  ‘Yes, I mean starting with YOU…


‘How open are you to personally change how you lead, communicate, and even think?’

Never once has a person said, ‘NO, I AM NOT willing to change’. Yet our earlier conversations indicates whether they will Love it or Hate it?  Whether they will intentionally embrace it or eventually resist it.

For years I worked with the understanding that if one desired different results, he needed to change his behavior.  Given my personal desire to continually accelerate my results as well as my clients I have found this to be a half-truth.  Yes of course behaviors need to change, however in order to create truly transformational change we must look at what drives our behavior.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”   George Bernard Shaw

Change is driven by our thoughts. In other words our results are driven by our behavior AND our behavior is driven by our thinking. FOCUS on the THINKING and experience a shift in how you view change, especially for those most sacred thoughts, the ones that have conditioned your behavior.

It is common practice for leaders to focus on behavior change to drive results yet over seventy years ago

James Allen wrote As A Man Thinketh.  He didn’t write As A Man DOeth.

Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich, he didn’t write DO and GROW RICH.

Henry Ford said, “ If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

If I asked you today what your team members were really thinking, would you be guessing or have you asked them specifically?

What would you envision their response be if you asked them what they really THINK about a key initiative they are working on or the new strategy you are thinking of rolling out?

If you’ve already asked, well done, you are among a few rare leaders.  A large number of managers are more compelled to direct, instruct or tell rather than ask.

What I have found is the most effective leaders are intensely curious. They ask great questions. They are aware of the best thinking and where to apply it to help their organization achieve their results.

Envision what might happen if you never knew what your employee are thinking?

What would you be missing out on? 

Once I understood that real change starts with thinking I began shifting my curiosity to discover what others were thinking:

What they believed

How they reasoned

What they were willing to do

What their gut was telling them

What their experience told them.

I was amazed how many thanked me for asking and even more surprised by how many realized they had stopped thinking altogether.  They indicated they just DID what they were instructed to do, they had switched off their brain.  OR HAD THEY?

A poet once wrote:

 If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you like to win, but you think you can’t

It is almost certain you won’t.


If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost

For out of the world we find,

Success begins with a fellow’s will.

It’s all in the state of mind.


If you think you are outclassed, you are,

You’ve got to think high to rise,

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win a prize.


Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stranger of faster man

But soon or late the man who sins

Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN !


Take the challenge to find out what those brilliant minds working in your organization are thinking.

Learn what they think needs to be done to exceed your goals.

Connect to their mind as well as their heart.