Raising the level of your leadership

Bob Dylan Is Still Right

“The key to positive action is knowing the difference
between a problem and a fact of life.
A problem is something that can be solved.
A fact of life is something that must be accepted.”
Fred Smith (CEO of FedEx)

One fact of life is Bob Dylan was right: The Times They Are A-Changin’.

  • Cars have replaced horse-drawn buggies (except with the Amish community). A growth strategy focused on buggy whips is certain to fail. “Self-driving cars” are coming
  • Cell Phones have replaced iPods which replaced CDs which replaced cassette tapes which replaced 8-track tapes which replaced vinyl records which replaced… (before my time). Something is going to replace cell phones. Count on it.
  • We dumped our landline this year. More than 50% of U.S. households are wireless only. AT&T is doing great, but not because of landlines.
  • Broadcast tv is less than 5% of the viewing audience. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc. are taking over the airways…and advertising markets.
  • One out of three millennials claim to be “nones” having no religious affiliation whatever. Up from 20% just 8 years ago. How is your church doing reaching this “nones” group?

A fact of life is that significant change is inevitable. If not technology driven, it will be culture driven. Anne Mulcahy, who led the turn-around at Xerox, summed it up this way:

“Do not defend yourself against the inevitable.” 
America’s Best Leaders (US News 2006)

Organizations with leaders who resist, ignore or fear change will become irrelevant at some point in the future. When? I can’t say for sure. But why wait until it happens? Take action now so your organization doesn’t sink in the rising waters of change.

Come gather ’round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Bob Dylan (verse 1 of The Times They Are A-Changin’)

©2019 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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  • On Leading Well…

    "The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."

    Kouzes & Posner


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