Give Everybody a Significant Role

Vision stalls when people don’t know what part they play. They might buy into you and your vision, but if they don’t know how the vision moves from the stage to their shoes it get left in the pews. Or in their inbox.

In the early days of NASA, everybody had the same mission: put a man on the moon. If you asked the janitor at NASA what they were doing while re-stocking toilet paper they would have said, “I’m putting a man on the moon.”

We moved this summer. In case you forgot, moving sucks. Moving with kids is extra sucky and exhausting, not just because they have a ton of stuff, but because they’re needy and disruptive. If we’re not careful, we can consider them something in the way of what we’re changing rather than part of the process.

So, rather than saying “we’re busy today and we need to you to stay out of the way” we said, “moving is part of our big adventure this summer and we need your help. Today, we need you to make sure the dog gets played with your books go in this box.”

Is our five year old really all that helpful? No. But, when he’s involved he feels ownership in what we’re doing, can process the change (and gets in the way less).

Four ways to give everybody a role

Invite them to participate. Change stalls because we fail to invite people to participate. We can connect the dots for them of how their role is part of a bigger mission.

Let them have a say. Tell them the why and the where, let them participate in how. They’ll have more ownership in what they’re doing if you let them have a say in how they do it.

Clarify the stakes. Say what happens if they don’t (full of vision, not consequence)

Believe in them. Tell them what they can do, and believe it’s essential. If it helps, imagine your highest contributor, and speak to that potential.

Curious if your current change might stall out? Take The Change Inventory today (it’s free).

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