“Being a change creator is a mindset utilizing a specific skill set focused on impact. Instead of asking, ‘What does it take to create a happy customer?’ ask, ‘What is the impact that we want to create for our customer?’ When we have a change mindset, we see the difference. We see how what we do creates that difference. We communicate that difference so that we can strengthen our relationship with our customers. We change to adapt ourselves to the needs of our customer. By recognizing this changing difference, we begin to grasp that we are always in transition. “*
Maybe we should be asking:
‘What does it take to create a healthy community?’
Following that question, we should ask:
‘What is the impact that we can have that creates a healthy community?’
As I travel, the question of community grows larger and larger. Think not about how it affects us personally, but rather how it will affect those generations that will follow us. Here are two aspects of this question that are important for us to understand.
Community: Three Perspectives
Mention the word ‘community’ and people generally have three different responses.
For many, it is a physical place, the location where their home is, where they work, and where their kids go to school.
For others, community is the quality of relationships that people have in a particular environment.
Community is also a set of values that are expressed as the culture of a community.
The problem that we face with community is that each of these approaches is inadequate for creating a happy, healthy community. A community is not just a zip code, a collection of friends, or some abstract beliefs. It’s a context where all of those mix together to create community.
We need a wholistic picture of our communities. It lets us integrate all three perspectives into a single focus for impact. The Circle of Impact model, as a universal tool for problem-solving and planning, can help us do it.
The Mindset of a Community Change Creator
The second aspect is to understand what it means to be a Community Change Creator.
We must believe that we can be a change creator. Belief is a perspective that overcomes obstacles to the discovery and realization of being a change creator.
This mindset is first and foremost a belief that we, individually, have something to contribute to our community. This is not the same as the financial support that we give to local community organizations. It is not our just being a booster of our local high school or sports team. It means that we are contributing in a way where we can identify the specific difference that we are making in our community. The only way to know that you are this kind of person is through the actions you take that make a difference.
If you cannot muster up a belief in your own potential to be a person of impact, then you will instead see your community as a place that does things for you. There are many people in our communities who have legitimate needs for assistance from their community. I am referring here to people who have the capacity to make a difference but do not.
How To Become A Community Change Creator
If you don’t know how then reading Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change is a great place to start. You’ll find your perspective on who you are, and what you have to offer your community changing. It is the book’s purpose. To change perception and inspire initiative.
The second step is to decide on a specific place to make a contribution. You can treat this question as a problem to solve. Ask the problem this way: Is my best contribution from the dimension of Ideas, Relationships or Structure? In other words, you may be a clear thinker or persuasive speaker. Or, you have been really good at interacting with people. Or, you may have technical skills that can help create strong organizational structures. Whatever your talent or skill set, there is a place to start contributing.
The third step is more of a continuing step of asking the Five Questions that everyone must ask. The Five Questions focus on five answers.
What has changed?
What is my impact?
Who am I impacting?
What opportunities do I have because of my impact?
What problems have I created? What obstacles do I face?
Ask these questions regularly. You can get a helpful infographic of these questions by signing up for my email list at my website, https://edbrenegar.com.
Each of these questions helps us start to become Community Creators of Change. Commitment to focus on a specific course of action follows. And with it, satisfaction at seeing our contribution make a difference.
*Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change, p. 175.