By Kim Commins-Tzoumakas | September 20, 2018
“Be the change you seek.”
Often, this line is attributed to Gandhi. But in the world of fitting things onto a coffee mug or a refrigerator magnet, sometimes words get lost along the way. And with them, some of the meaning.
What Gandhi actually said is this: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him … We need not wait to see what others do.”
Although his quote is a little long for a tweet and little different than the one we’ve taken as one of our core values here at 21st Century Oncology, the outcome is the same. Don’t wait for anyone else. “Be the change you seek.”
Sorry, I didn’t think I would be quoting Gandhi in my fourth blog, but, hey — why not? We could all use a little more Gandhi.
I think this is an important pillar of our core values. Because 21st Century Oncology is not the buildings we report to each day or the technology we so thoughtfully use to change peoples’ lives for the better. It’s us. All of us. And for effective change, we all need to be pulling in the same direction.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review stated, “The leadership of the change effort can’t end with the top team, the top 100 managers, or the top 1,000 managers. It has to be an all-hands-on-deck engagement.” Change begins with you. You must “be the change you seek.” Every day, when you go out of your way to help someone, offer a smile, or suggest a solution to a problem you know your area has been struggling with, you will be that change we need.
How does each Dream Team member initiate change? Forbes.com, identified “10 Ways to Initiate A Positive Change at Work Even If You’re Not the One in Charge.” Focus on “what is close to you.” You can’t change the world, but you can make changes, here and there, in your area. Change doesn’t have to be radical. Just choose a couple of things you’d like your team to do better. Then focus on that. It’s like that old joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Meaning, don’t expect an overnight transformation; but, if you put in effort, you will see results.
The article also points out that, “Leadership is not about a corporate title or position, but action.” Act like a leader, and you’ll lead. You may be surprised at how much having a point of view and working to change things for the better can get you to your desired result.
Finally, bring solutions to the table. Anyone can sit around and complain. But, instead of complaining, try to figure out how the issues can be resolved. I am always open to suggestions and solutions, and I would love to hear from any of my staff. That’s not just me blogging. That’s a promise.
I know I’m asking for a lot here. Change can be scary, but it is also extremely necessary. As author Richard Bach once wrote, “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” Do you seek change? I think we at 21st Century Oncology must embrace it as we move forward. And I’m excited and ready to see the butterfly we can become.
The Hug Every Day blog will offer periodic insights and guidance from the 21st Century CEO, Kim Commins-Tzoumakas. Kim is no-nonsense, but also very caring. And she is excited to have this opportunity to share her vision for 21C with you.