Written by: Tanja Bogataj, M.Sc., Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
I have 3 questions for you. How impactful are you on your average day? How impactful are you while being in your best state, and giving your best? How impactful are you when you are resisting change? Now imagine your most powerful version of yourself and one almost impossible dream/wish/vision/goal that you have or can imagine for yourself. Now think how you could make this vision a reality. Just give yourself a few moments. While imagining, you tap into your inner power. You first tap into your power for change, and then you tap into the power of leadership. Now see the magic revealing in front of your eyes. In this article, I guide and accompany you into your world of change to explore how you can create the momentum for change, use leadership, and use 3 x 3 ways to lift up and level up to increase impact. If you choose to get equipped and guided for your changes in a faster and impactful way, feel free to connect for your #LIFTUP and/ or to find the powerforchange.world.
I. Creating Momentum for Change and Growth
Our increased awareness and knowledge about new challenges, and our obligation to think and act globally and locally, are demanding new approaches, especially in leadership, participation, and collaboration. This offers a new possibility, and an opportunity for all of us to make a change, and to be actively engaged in change-making process/-es. If we look at our power or potential powerlessness from this perspective, we can realize a huge potential in each one of us individually, and in all of us together as a collective, personally and professionally. We just need to unlock this potential and know how to use it. This means change, and for change to happen in the desired way we need leadership. For the purpose of this article I’m choosing the definition of a leader by Brené Brown from her book Dare to Lead (2018:4). She defines a ‘leader’ to be anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential. Patti Johnson in her book Make waves (2014:18) identifies five common obstacles that keep us from being the one who starts the change at work and in life): fear of being wrong, being inadequate, or hurting our standing; lack of accountability ‒ the unspoken belief that someone else will do it; assumptions about what!s important and what will work; procrastination, which delays action; and perfectionism, which makes us feel we are never ready. According to John C. Maxwell (2011:260), change occurs in people’s lives when they hurt enough that they have to, learn enough that they want to, and/or receive enough that they are able to. For further inspiration, empowerment, and daily practice to find and develop the potential for change and growth, feel free I share in the following an open invitation to (re)visit a set of Mind-stretching sessions I've co-created for self-leadership and leadership with invited guests on selected topics:
Change, Changing and Leadership ThroughChange video (duration 23:23);
Confidence and Scalingup video (duration 50:57);
Confidence, Communication and Performance video (duration 54:57);
Happiness at work video (duration 49:17);
Staying driven and reaching your potential video (duration 36:33).
“Momentum provides the energy for needed change.” ‒ John C. Maxwell
II. Leading the Process of Creating the Change and Directing the Growth
As John C. Maxwell says, change is inevitable, growth is an option. It’s a leadership challenge how to create change and how to direct growth. This, in turn, requires movement that is integrated into moving from one to another level of leadership. Within each level, and moving up to the next level, there’s a potential for a change and growth.
Let us shortly go through the 5 levels of leadership according to Maxwell (2011):
First level “Position” - This level is characterized by people following the leader because they have to, and follow only within the framework of the authority that such leader has. People only do what they are told. This level of leadership operates on the leader's right to demand. The only influence a positional leader has, is that which pertains to the title. Maxwell says that people who operate only at this level can only be bosses, but they are not leaders. He also says that this is the only level that does not require the ability and some effort from the leader to achieve the result.
Second level “Permission” - This level is where people follow the leader because they want to, and where leadership is based on relationships. A leader wants to get to know his people and find out how he can get along well with them, thereby developing influence and trust. At this level, Maxwell says, it turns out that you can love people without leading them, but you can't lead people well without loving them.
Third level “Production” - People at this level follow the leader based on what the leader has done for the organization. The difference between second and third-level leadership is that good leaders not only want to create a good work environment, they also want to get the job done. The key element at this level is result. At this level, leaders can become agents of change.
Fourth level “People Development” -This level is where you expand your influence and impact by helping other individual leaders advance. At this level, people follow the leader based on what the leader has done for them. Leaders at this level use their position, relationships, and productivity to invest in their followers and develop them into leaders. At this level, leaders develop themselves.
Fifth level “Pinnacle” - It is believed that the greatest achievement of leadership is developing other leaders to become leaders at the fourth level. This level requires not only adequate effort, skill and intention, but also a high level of talent. Maxwell says that only naturally talented leaders reach this highest level, and that level-five leaders develop level-five organizations. These leaders create opportunities that leaders at other levels don’t. They create a legacy in and with what they do.
It’s a self-leadership and leadership challenge how to navigate and move within, and from one to another leadership level. However, you don’t move through these levels alone. Every time you lead different people you start this process again from Level 1. The good thing is that, if you’ve already led for example on Level 3 or Level 4, you know how to move up these levels much quickly than the previous time. Let’s take this further, and link it to how you can actively create the conditions for a change, lead the change, and expand the impact.
“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” ‒ Charles Kettering
III. 3 x 3 Way to Life up & Level up to Increase Impact
To lift up and level up by using the power for change effectively we need to work with our assumptions and other obstacles which limit our power for change, and leadership through the change. As Bob Proctor said, “Either you are increasing or decreasing.” It’s your choice which way you’re going. Let’s do it in upwards, a 3 x 3 way: Prepare a strategy and action plan using these 3 ‘How’ questions as a framework:
How are you identifying and using the potential for change and growth?
How are you taking the responsibility to find a potential in people and processes to change and grow?
How are you expressing the courage to develop the potential for change and growth?
Use these 3 clarity guidelines:
Get clear on ‘why’ you want to make/be a part of a change. Know your why, and why not.
Find your idea partners to co-create together. Equip and empower yourself and your tribe to sustain the journey. Get clear on how you can best lead yourself/others through the change.
Keep it simple to act, engage, and improve. Get clear on ‘where’, ‘how’ and ‘in what way’ you’ll best use your power for change.
Choose from 3 roles and ways to best serve the process of change as needed to increase impact:
Game-Changer - This role and way is referring to an idea, event, or procedure that effects a significant change/shift in the current way of thinking or doing something. As a game-changer you question/disrupt a thought, belief, feeling, behaviour, attitude, and action pattern/-s; you challenge a choice and decision-making procedures and processes; you use your power of imagination, creativity, and action to make a change.
Catalyst for Change - For a change to happen, we need a catalyst ‒ something that spurs the change. This role and way refers to someone who asks a question that challenges the status quo; who offers a different perspective and reframing on things/doing things in a certain way; who provides and/or guides people through an experience of change by trying out something new or different; who conducts and/or creates a new conversation that breaks the old patterns, and creates an opportunity for a new knowledge or development. It demands the courage to step into the unknown, use the catalyst- voice/power/idea, etc. to create the possibility, and engage others into this possibility to make it a reality.
Change Leader (or ‘Wave Maker’ by Johnson, ‘Agent of Change’ by Maxwell, etc.) - This role and way refer to someone who has the courage to develop the potential for change and growth; who starts and leads the change and others through the change; who takes responsibility for making decisions and initiating changes needed for the team/organization to succeed. It’s the one who’s always on the lookout for ways to improve leadership, team, initiative, and process itself.
Tanja Bogataj, M.Sc., Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Tanja Bogataj, M.Sc. (www.tanjabogataj.com | email@example.com) is a Leadership Coach and Consultant, Founder of the #bepowerfulandfree® approach, Host of #bepowerfulandfree Platform, Founder and CEO of the Power for Change Institute. Tanja’s motto “In the world where you can be anything, choose to #bepowerfulandfree while making a difference”.
Sources and References:
Brené Brown, Dare to lead, Penguin Random House UK, 2018;
John C. Maxwell,5 Levels of Leadership, Center Street New York, Boston, Nashville, 2013;
Patti Johnson, Make waves, Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life, Bibliomotion, 2014;
Tanja Bogataj, Leadership in the light of power and service, published article (in Slovenian) on Tax-Fin-Lex portal, 2018;
Tanja Bogataj, How to lead yourself in challenging times, published article in BusinessFit Magazine, May 2022;
Tanja Bogataj Mind-stretching session “Change & Grow or not to?”, TBC #bepowerfulandfree YouTube Channel, 2022;
“Confidence to Scale UP" Mind-stretching session with Tineke Rensen, TBC #bepowerfulandfree YouTube Channel, 2022;
“Confidence & Tool-kit to Shine on Stage” Mind-stretching session with HarrietBratt, TBC #bepowerfulandfree YouTube Channel, 2022;
“How to Be Happy at Work by Choice" Mind-stretching session with Loubna Zarrou, TBC #bepowerfulandfree YouTube Channel, 2022;
“Secrets to staying driven and reaching your potential” Mind-stretching session with Divya Mittal, TBC #bepowerfulandfree YouTube Channel, 2023;