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Change is good. Transformation is even better.

Change is good.  Transformation is even better. We use words all the time.

Often we don’t really know or think about their meaning. Heart murmur was a word like that. Until my dog was diagnosed with one, I didn’t really know what it was. In business we use words like change and transform and change agent all the time. Do we really think about what the words mean?

Hurrying to change planes in Atlanta I stopped dead in my tracks. I’m sure the ten people behind me really appreciated that abrupt halt. I saw this sign and I had to stop and take a picture of it with my phone. Knowing that no matter what I said to myself, if I didn’t freeze that moment, with the best of intentions I would not remember the words or even the intended sentiment. You know what they say about mental notes; the problem is that they are written with invisible ink.

Change is good. Transformation is even better.

Which begs two questions: can we easily define change? Can we define transformation? We use these terms but can we define them?

Early in the life of my company a CEO client shared a thought I remember to this day: “The only one who likes change is a baby with a dirty diaper”. I have always remembered that saying. However it does not define change it simply tells us what our audience thinks of change.

I work with several people at the executive level of a manufacturing company. One person, failing in their job, was offered the option of working with me. They refused saying that I would “change” them. That is so interesting on so many levels. First, if you are failing—why do you want to stay the same? Second, oh-if I could only wave my magic wand and change people that would be so easy. I can’t change anyone. I can give them tools for them to change their own behavior or performance Third, change is not automatically for the better or the worse. Change is to become different. THE PERSON DECIDES if that change is positive or negative.

So change is to become different. You change speeds, change hair color, or change outfits.

Transformation is to change in a positive way.

Change is good. Transformation is even better.

I tell my coaching clients what I think is a funny story about a five letter word. I know that the word dated is really five letters. But I hate the word so much; I refer to it as a four letter word to be avoided. The way I explain it is that you can call me anything: call me fat, call me stupid, just don’t call me dated. It is the worse insult a person could utter. Why? Because being dated would mean that I had not changed.

A friend bemoaned the fact that she lost her camera at the zoo. She had not downloaded any of the pictures, ever. I couldn’t get past one word she uttered. Camera. Camera? Camera? I felt like Alan Iverson repeating “practice, practice?” I can’t remember the last decade I used a camera. People that are not dated use their phone as a camera. That is a transformation she did not make.

Change is good. Transformation is even better.

I put together 60 pages of materials for my coaching clients. There is one sentence that I tell every client is the most important in the whole book of these materials. The one sentence I ask is, “How do you think differently than you did 5 years ago?” This is the most important concept because we need to change. Our goal would be transformation-positive change. Any change is better than no change.

Read more posts by Leslie Ungar here. Leslie blogs for JenningsWire.


JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicity Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book marketing strategies to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major top city radio talk shows that broadcast to the heart of the market, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers.