The Currency For Leading Change

change-20272_640It may seem simple, but change begins with a conversation.

Yep, that’s right.

Conversations are the currency for change. It all begins with what we are willing to talk about.

Yet, it is amazing how many thoughts, worries, doubts, fears, and assumptions are bouncing around our own heads every day. Multiply that by the number of people on your team or within your company or organization and you can see what a mess it can become. This often leads to poor communication habits, less than effective team dynamics, and typically leads to people who jump to improper and misinformed conclusions.

When leading in an environment like this, teams and organizations become entangled by their own assumptions and stagnant because of the lack of alignment and clarity around where they are heading and HOW they are committed to getting there, together.

Again, it may seem simple, but conversations are the currency for leading change. The best leaders, teams, and organizations are committed to diving into the conversations that must be had, the questions that need attention, and create the time and space to listen to others and be heard. They understand that all efforts to get on the same page with one another are the first steps toward leading change. Guided conversations begin to untangle the web of confusion, distrust, and misinformation.

So, if it is as simple as being committed to ongoing conversations that drive growth and development, why do so many individuals, teams and organizations stay entangled? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • It’s Way Easier To Stay Right Where You Are — Change is difficult. It’s easier to stay trapped in our own patterns or thoughts than to step outside of them and explore possibilities, challenge assumptions, and seek solutions.
  • You’ve Bought Into The Idea That “It’s A Waste Of Time” — This is an absolute myth. We think we can’t possibly take the time to sit around and talk with each other because we have “more important things” in order “to get stuff done.” So, we stay fixated on our “To Do” lists in our silos rather than coming together to find efficiencies. The truth is that when we Step Back we actually move forward.
  • You’re Scared — simply put, we get scared. We’re scared to share the thoughts in our heads or fear looking dumb for not knowing something or rocking the boat. But, the reality is, once we take the time to listen to others, share our perspectives, and then together gain alignment and clarity on where we’re going next, everyone leaves feeling relieved, energized, and more effective.

The best teams I’m lucky to serve are the ones who are committed to ongoing conversations about not just WHAT they do, but HOW they are committed to traveling together to get there. They enter into conversations aimed at leading change in the way they think about their own leadership and the culture they are committed to building, together.

Conversations are the currency for change. What conversations are needed in your company or on your team? What type of leadership, culture, and vision for the future do you hope to create?

Good luck with the next conversations along your journey!

Travel Gracefully,



DSC_0097 - insideJason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim and ReMember, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.

Follow on Twitter @JasonVBarger and learn more at


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