The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.
Two independent but related events happened over the past week that got me to thinking and they both involve the term "Change Agent". I was writing a blog post on Amanda Palmer and out of nowhere found myself typing the words "Change Agent", which made me feel funny somehow. Then a couple of days later I was helping a friend solve a problem with a PowerPoint presentation and her new Mac where in the conversation she called me a Change Agent. To that I paused, again felt funny and corrected her by saying, " No I am not... I am just adaptable."
This did however give me an idea to write about Change Agents, have some fun with it and create a fictitious spy agency featuring a bunch of "Archers"* leading the charge for change while reporting to a father figure named "Chief"** - Sounds like some good fun and I do love change! So it turns out that it was a painful chore, as I found there was always this block as I typed away... that funny feeling again. With my desire to get this published I figuratively looked in the mirror and whispering, "Ya I know, I'm a Change Agent... just damn"*** with a conflicted acknowledgement of the calling. Why the reticence you ask?
See being a Change Agent, is all about "living in the contradiction" where on one hand intellectually we know survival is all about changing, evolving and adapting, something visionary leaders love... but on the other hand, deep down most of us, many of us, almost all of us don't like change, ambivalence and the perceived loss of control - We want the predictable, as it offers a sense of security, control and safety... hence the contradiction. People love the concept of us but really don't want us at the "party"... although ultimately we do make the party list and stand in the corner eating cocktail wiener doodles.
Bet if you Google "Change Agent" you will get a definition something like this - Someone who can envision the need for change and has the ability to execute on it. Usually enabled with competencies such as resource management, operational understanding and execution, strong networking abilities, influencing skills as well as intuitive leadership. (many times without a title of influence). Let me also add, and it goes without saying, that they have a very high tolerance for change, emotionally embrace it, can operate in ambivalence and probably a contrarian. And by necessity, to be a good change agent, "ya' gotta be different".
So lucky fucking me, as I deep down I do want to make it onto the A party list. So really, unlike the secret organization outlined, being a Change Agent is more of a calling, which takes you places that others tend not to go, or at least resist (sometimes with great drama).
And why? It's the word change... I mean, if there was the word "execution" in front of agent for sure you would make the A list, get all the top shelf liquor and most definitely have a cool organization.
Again, we all know why we dislike change so it is not my purpose to offer any lofty position on the subject other than to say it is simply not something that bothers me really... yes sometimes it's "inconvenient" but as "god is my witness" it's not something I fear or am even uncomfortable with. And here is the simple reason - Change brings opportunity.
So here is my advice... stop looking at change as a bad thing, as you are simply self fulfilling your prophecy and opening the door to your worst fears or whatever "negative" you associate with change. I have attached the "Who moved my Cheese" video, so check it out as is is worth the 17 minutes - I love this story and share it when the "Topic of Change" comes up. (it' a great little book to hand out to people when change is "afoot")
So please, if I can ask two things of you, remember change truly equates to opportunity and try to get us on the A party list as I understand the cocktail wiener doodles are the best.
* Archer is an American adult animated television series created by Adam Reed that follows the exploits of a secret agent
** The Chief was the head of CONTROL played by Edward Platt in the TV series GET SMART. (a classic)
*** Originally I said "I think I'm a Change Agent...just fuck" but calmed it down a bit for this post.