You’ve Changed!

Posted by in Communication, The Leadership Coach™

It’s said like an insult… “You’ve changed!”

Perhaps you were in a conversation with a lifelong friend or a family member. Something you did or said wasn’t quite what you always used to do or say. And then out it comes, with a hint of disgust… “You’ve changed!”

Here’s the problem: if you want to reach your potential in life or leadership you have to change.

Those jibes might be subtle or even well meaning. Yet they still reinforce a fundamental mindset that in order to be “true”, “authentic” or “fair dinkum” (for the Aussies!) we should always be how we’ve always been.

The opposite phrase is just as much of a problem. Why is it generally considered a compliment when we say to someone, “You haven’t changed a bit”?

If you haven’t seen me in ten years and you say to me, “You haven’t changed a bit” that might just be the lowest insult of all.

The inability or unwillingness to change is the path to extinction. If your clothes, your business strategy, your cell phone or your website are still “staying true” to how the world was ten years ago, prepare for extinction.

Let’s reverse the trend. This week find three people who’ve changed for the better and compliment them by saying “You’ve changed!”

I’d love to hear your comments and feel free to use the links below to share this article with others

Paul Andrew is Founder of The Leadership Coach™

He is a Keynote Speaker and Management Consultant based in New York

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9 Responses to “You’ve Changed!”

  1. Joe Pane

    15. Dec, 2011

    Paul, brilliant article. I love it – its accurate and succinct.
    Hope all is well with you mate.

  2. Claire Takacs

    15. Dec, 2011

    So true Paul.

    I get the tone of disgust, usually by someone with whom I’ve had a dysfunctional relationship in the past. They get upset when my response to them is not what they are used to as a result of ongoing personal development on my part. It challenges their ‘script’ of past conversations and creates uncertainty on their part – they don’t know how else to ‘be’.

    Thanks for the timely article – Christmas and family gatherings next week so I wonder if I’ll get “you’ve changed” again this year 🙂

  3. Paul Andrew

    15. Dec, 2011

    Thanks Joe! Hope Melbourne is treating you well. Great to reconnect mate. Come visit some time!

  4. Paul Andrew

    15. Dec, 2011

    Agreed Claire. Actually I was going to talk about a leader’s challenge to recognize people DO change. Decided to save it for a separate post because there’s so much to say about that!

  5. Gail

    15. Dec, 2011

    I warn newly weds that their spouse will and SHOULD change over the years. If they DON’T change something is wrong. The challenge of relationships is to continually learning about our loved ones as they grow, mature and change.

    As friends, partners, family and leaders, our role is not only to expect those around us to grow, mature and change but also to encourage them to do so! And to be an example of that for them.

    Like you said, it’s actually a compliment when people notice the change in you enough to say so – even when they say it with a tone of disgust 🙂

    Thanks for putting this out there for us to talk about. It’s important.

  6. Karen

    15. Dec, 2011

    What jumped out to me then was that if I have changed at all, it has been toward a more
    “true” version of me. Moving away from those distractions such as the busyness of
    life, wanting things you don’t really value once you have them, and doing things because
    of others’ or societal expectations…all of these things take you away from who you
    truly are. Maturity, growth and perspective SHOULD create change and if you are nicely in
    tune with yourself, bring you back to the realest you there is.

    Thanks as always for stimulating thought fodder.

  7. Belinda

    15. Feb, 2012

    Your article spoke to me and woke me up. I needed to hear this because I had begun to think something was wrong with me. Now I know it just part of my growing and learning. Sometimes we must leave others behind to keep moving forward.
    Thanks for the wisdom.

  8. Paul Andrew

    15. Feb, 2012

    I’m encouraged by your feedback Belinda… glad the article came across your path at the right time!

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