Earlier this week I found myself on a flight from Sydney to Byron Bay, eagerly anticipating my organic, kale infused, dolphin milk smoothie, when I picked up the in-flight magazine to be met with yet another article about an ‘innovator’ busily ‘disrupting’ their industry. My eyes glazed over. Is it just me, or does it seem that everywhere you look right now someone is disrupting this and groundbreaking that? I mean are we really, are we actually making that much progress right now? Maybe, maybe not. Quite often it’s all a bit of smoke and mirrors. So what does it really take to become a Change Agent?
Know Your Superpower
We all have one. Yep, even you. We’re all here to share something on this earth, and without getting all ‘life purpose’ on you, this is it. Your unique set of skills, experience, and passions is what makes you uniquely you, and in zeroing in on how that ‘sweet spot’ meets a need in the world, BOOM, you’ve found your superpower. Superpowers change the world. While anyone else can do what you do, NO ONE can do it the way you do it. True Change Agents own their superpower like Luke Skywalker owns a Lightsaber. You can see it in the way they move, the way they talk, and the grounded sense of being that they operate from. So honing on your sweet spot, your superpower, the special thing that you have to share with the world, sits at the front of How To Be A Change Agent 101.
Feeling annoyed that your yoga pants don’t stretch with you, that your prescription sunnies are an absolute rip-off, or that your last flight got cancelled, seemingly unnecessarily? Turn it up! This low level of irritation is a surefire sign that an industry needs to be shaken up and is exactly what Lululemon, Bailey Nelson and Richard Branson did. Disruptors get annoyed. They have a fire in their belly, and know that there’s a better, fairer, more efficient or more fun way to do things.
Focus On The ‘Why’ Not The ‘How’
If your ‘why’ is strong enough, the ‘how’ will follow. The most powerful force behind any Change Agent is their ‘why’. It’s what gets them out of bed in the morning, fuels their vision, engages their tribe, and makes them prepared to go above and beyond anything else that everyone else is doing. The ‘how’ is in the details, and when your drive and purpose are strong enough, the ‘how’ will take care of itself.
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
If you’re really about to make some massive change, it should feel pretty bloody scary. You’re about to head into unchartered territory that could give you a direct VIP ticket to the top, or alternatively, see you crashing face first into the pavement. Scary? Yes. Scary enough to stop you? No. Change Agents thrive on the adrenalin that comes with this risk. They win big, and they’re prepared to lose big for the cause. So if you’re truly ready to disrupt, make fear your friend, and invite it along for the ride.
Make Your Move and Make it Fast
It’s not the big that eat the small. It’s the fast that eat the slow. Serious Change Agents don’t wait for the back end of their business to be as ordered as their nannas sock draw. They launch before they’re ready, fail fast, learn from their mistakes, and do it all over again. So make your move, now.
Surround Yourself with Giants
Not the physical kind (because really, where do you find them?). I mean the business kind. You’re A team. Your game-changing tribe that not only bring their best to the table, but will challenge you when you need it, seek out new opportunities, and have your back when you need it.
Very few true Change Agents got where they are today without an extraordinary team behind them. Richard Branson, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs. All of them pay homage to the massive machine behind them setting them up for success day by day. So find you’re dream team. Lead with Vision. Engage them in the journey, and make sure they own their importance in achieving the big picture.
In a sea of over saturated industries, there is still more opportunity than ever to be disruptive. But above all, you need passion. Your passion is the secret sauce that bring all the pieces of a Change Agent together. No-one will go further, aim higher or have the courage to drive change like a woman fuelled with passion. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.
As a trained Psychologist and Entrepreneurial Thinker, Pru Chapman works with Startups through to CEOs to get them on purpose and disruptive in their industries.
She is the Founder + Head Hustler of Owners Collective with a mad passion for all things creative, mindful and innovative.
Aside from the world of business, Pru is a bit of a thrill seeker who gets giddy on outdoorsy stuff. Pru has meditated with monks in Asia, split snowboarding seasons across the globe, fed hungry hedge fund traders healthy food in London, danced samba in Brazil, and finds pleasure in the pain of Crossfit most days.