How to be an agent of change

Elections highlight the conversation of change. Each candidate wants ‘change’ of some sort. They want to make their mark and make a difference.

I find that all my clients are advocates of change. They all want to improve something, to add to their business, community, or environment. In effect, we are all change seekers. We all seek improvement in our lives and in our work. 

Sometimes that seeking is a little passive. We get dragged along by the change happening around us. Sometimes it’s more engaging and we ride the wave of change. If we truly show up however, we are driving change, we are Agents of change. 

To be an Agent of change, someone who drives change, begins primarily with the desire to improve something. 

There are so many great examples of individuals setting wheels in motion for constructive positive change. Like Stephanie Lorenzo, young Aussie dynamo who set up Project Futures at the age of 22, working to end human trafficking and slavery.  

What is it about superstars like Stephanie that we can learn from?           

What we need to be an agent of change 

1. NEED 

All agents of change seek improvement with a need in mind. It could be an intractable and complicated issue like homelessness, or climate change, or it could be something more prosaic like improving bus services to different community regions. 

We also need to have our own needs met first. Let’s face it, if we are busy in survival mode, we likely do not have the capacity to lead a change initiative. 

Or by focusing on this social need, our needs are met. Malala Yousafzai, the teenage activist for female education in Pakistan, led the charge because she desperately wanted an education for herself too. 

Need offers direction. 

2. NETWORK 

Gandhi said, Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s a good starting point. It does not make us an agent of change. For our change to be bigger than ourselves, we need to be actively connected with others so that the change we are enacting has an impact as a catalyst. 

Connection helps build cause. 

3. MEANING 

This is the impetus to move from thinking about it to doing something about it. Meaning is the spark that touches our soul - we have experienced something or feel deeply for something that stirs us to champion it for others. 

This is the spark that lights the fire and keeps us fanning the flames. Turia Pitt, with burns to 65% of her body, now focuses on fundraising and advocacy for Interplast. This is an agency that offers free reconstructive surgery for burn victims in developing countries. Knowing the devastation of burns in every aspect of life, Turia has focused her energy to help others in the same predicament. From her own deep well of pain, she found meaning in care and compassion for others. 

Meaning creates our identity as change agents. 

 

And you? What is it that you care about? What calls you to be an agent of change? What will you do next?