Action + Compromise = Change

To accept this equation you first need to be able to accept that change is inevitable and in many cases necessary.  To do nothing but resist change will almost always put you on the losing side.  You are always better off being an active participant in change to help shape it to a mutually beneficial outcome.


Talking will only take you so far, you need to be able to demonstrate your passion and genuineness by showing that you are willing to take action to get to an outcome.  Purely talking or yelling about your passions carries very little currency with people as it comes off hypocritical when you do so little to get out and do something to drive change.  As the old saying goes “lead by example” or in this case “create change by leading through example.”

As part of this action step, you must also be an active listener.  Trying to ram your ideals down someone’s throat is not effective.  Showing that you are at least willing to meet them at a point where you try to understand their stance (not necessarily agree with it) builds the trust necessary to even start the second part of this equation.


It is rare that individuals, groups, organizations, etc. see things 100% eye-to-eye.  Trying to force them to see everything your way is counterproductive and typically gets no one what they want.  Be willing to compromise to create positive change.  This doesn’t mean give up all your key points, but be willing to be upfront on what your deal breakers are and that you are willing to budge on other items.

Ideology is nice in theory, but it only works if everyone sees things the same way.  Forcing ideology typically leads to gridlock, prejudice and in extreme cases conflict.  These things do not benefit either side and in the end is this really what is best for your organization and its stakeholders?

Great leaders understand the components of this equation are critical when leading change.  Think about those individuals or even groups that bring about great change.  You will see people who error towards action and aren’t afraid to give up some of their wants to ensure their stakeholders get better service, products, care, etc.

Do you find yourself or your peers living this equation?  Do you see a tendency to avoid and procrastinate?  To push an individual agenda to the detriment of your organization’s stakeholders?  How have you dealt with these latter questions?

About the author: Heath

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