Attraction, Not Promotion

Making a change in your actions that promote your core values is hard. When I think of change, I think of it similar to turning a ship in the ocean. Meaning, if I decided now to turn my ship 180 degrees, it would take about three days before we actually started to see some progress. As I was cleaning up my actions, I thought that it would be a good idea to promote it. I mean who wouldn’t want to hear about all the great changes that were coming? Well, as it turned out, not our team. In fact, since my previous actions didn’t match our core values, they actually doubted me. Huh? Hard to believe right? I think I even poured gasoline into the fire of doubt by promoting the changes. I learned quickly that attraction, not promotion, was what I was looking for.

I think from the beginning of time kids have not listened to what their parents have said. In contrast, I think that they have followed what they have seen. I realize at home, and in the example above, that I would be judged based on my actions much more than my words. So, I went quietly about changing my behavior and living our core values. Just like a ship turning in the ocean, it was going to take time before you could see the progress. I knew if I was truly willing to change what I did, my team would eventually change what they said about me and our company. And that was the really hard part.

After a while (maybe it was about 3 weeks??—nope this took longer) of me showing up in action and NOT promoting is when the needle started to move. The office team was refreshed because no one was promoting or jamming things down their throats. However, nowadays the world revolves around text messages and twitter. Attraction, not promotion, is anything but normal in a time where thoughts are shared in 140 characters, instantaneously. That is, attraction takes time and a change within. Promotion happens fast and on the surface. People want their change to be quick and done before you can throw out another tweet. But attraction is just the opposite, it is slow to change, but the results last longer. They want it now, it is like the old adage, it is easy to say and hard to do. But if you wait for the change, let it develop naturally, grow organically, it will be more meaningful to the individual and they will stick around. That is why we must attract, not promote, people, and therefore things, to change.