If you’ve taken a flight you’ll be familiar with this advice in the safety announcement: “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.” The cabin crew are serious about this – they mean even before you help your children, which goes against every parent’s instincts!
Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival? Because if you run out of oxygen yourself, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.
I believe this is true in many contexts, not least in leading change. If you can’t lead change in yourself how can you hope to lead it in others and help them to successfully lead change?
The short answer is: you can’t.
What makes me an authority on leading change from within? Great question!
I’m qualified both professionally and personally. I’ve faced incredible adversity and opportunity in my life and career and it’s only through understanding and implementing managed change that I’ve been able to survive and thrive. I’ve lived my own process and seen the power of purpose. I set the goals, created the plan and did the work. Now I share it with others because helping others to succeed is my catalyst.
I want you to uncover your catalyst. Your why. Your raison d’être.
This self-knowledge is so powerful because your actions and values will orbit around it. The definition of a catalyst is something that speeds up or brings about an event – without itself being used up or consumed. A catalyst is not one and done. It fuels change and chain reactions and is the starting point of your change journey.
So, if you’re feeling lackluster, devoid of motivation and at a loss as to how to galvanize your team, I urge you to start with yourself. Put your oxygen mask on first. What does that oxygen give you and how can you use it to help others? What learning and development do you need to do to support your purpose?
Just writing about catalysts gets me excited for uncovering all the potential and possibilities you have.