Who IS a change agent?
As defined by Education Portal, a change agent is a person from inside or outside an organization who helps an organization transform itself by focusing on such matters as organizational effectiveness, improvement and development. A change agent usually focuses his/her efforts on the effect of changing technologies, structures, and tasks on interpersonal and group relationships in the organization.
Given that most coaching professionals are entrepreneurs, we can take this definition and adapt it to be indicative of the coaching business and its clientele. Naturally, as the business owner, you are a leader, and by remaining proactive and focused in the face of extremely busy times, you can ensure that you are providing effective, positive solutions for your clients.
What makes a successful change agent?
To be a truly successful change agent, one must possess a number of qualities that can vary in scope and strength.
Here are seven:
- You have a clear vision
Whether this is for your business efforts or for your clients, you are able to articulate a vision that keeps you moving forwards and demonstrates the strength of your leadership
- You are patient
You understand that change doesn’t happen overnight and that, when it does happen, it must be sustainable in the long-term. As a change agent, you focus on keeping that momentum moving forwards
- You create settings for success
Including frameworks and calls to action, this keeps the vision clear both as a business owner and as a coach and means that you keep to the path
- You are intentional and thorough
This follows on from having a clear vision as you work to see it through and you don’t doubt that the actions you take are the right ones
- You are social and personal
By interacting positively with others (a key component to coaching of course!) you value the opinions of others and work hard to gain their trust. By doing so you inspire hope, not fear, and build strong, valuable relationships
- You are knowledgeable and lead by example
You aren’t talking at people, but with or to them. You provide information based on your own experiences without being arrogant or pushy. You are, at times, a role model
- You are creative and flexible
While you know your overall vision very clearly, you are open to change as it comes to ensure that you have the most positive approach to your end goal and you have often seen paths to success that others have yet to find
As you work to become the change agent you are destined to be, read through this great article by Forbes that highlights some of the ways that 21st Century leadership will be challenged. Will you face extinction?