By: Constance Lee Menefee

If you were boss, everything would work well.  But you're not in charge - of the business, the board of directors, your client or the car pool - so you can't be expected to really accomplish anything, right?

You're not off the hook, because Geoffrey Bellman wrote an excellent guide for succeeding from a support position, Getting Things Done When You Are Not In Charge (Berrett-Koehler 800-929-2929.)

If you want to cling to excuses, don't pick up his book.

Bellman's model of dynamic change, in a nutshell is: Want, Is, Players, You.
Define what you want and what the players want; examine the overlaps and differences.

Define what the situation is from your point of view, from the players point of view.

Make sure that you identify all the players and determine how they are invested in the status quo.  How can they contribute to or block change?  What talents or resources do they bring?

What resources do you bring? How are you invested in changing things?  How well do you work with the players?  How do your wants fit the players' wants?

When leading the change process:

  •    Grow through a series of small successes
  •    Risk being converted - lower your great ideas and listen
  •    Give your the players an out - don't box them in
  •    Expect not to be appreciated - really expect that
  •    Accept the player's lack of knowledge - focus on what they do know
  •    Change is difficult - stability is its own reward
  •    Rapid change is disruptive and probably won't last
  •    Sound change is rooted in respect of all the players
  •    Resistance to change demonstrates power 
  •    Don't give up - change takes time and repetition
  •    Continuous innovation, imagination plus application, is crucial
  •    Ideas must find their time  - be patient and flexible
  •    There are perils to success - things change and so it goes.
If you choose not to lead your life and your business, others will. Guaranteed.

  Article originally appeared in the Cincinnati Post, Jan 28, 1997