Volume 22, January 2003: Personal Change

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2003 ISSN # 1545-8873

“They say time changes all things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” — Andy Warhol

“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” — William James

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” — James Gordon, M.D.

“The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications

What’s Hot in Leadership

  • Continuously improving yourself as a leader and a human being.
  • Modeling the way, by seeking stretch goals and being a learner.
  • Using a personal improvement plan (PIP) to structure personal growth.
  • Realizing that any investment you make in the growth and development of people yields benefits.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

Becoming a leader means becoming more fully yourself, not just acquiring skill sets. Take stock of all those areas of your life in need of change. Review your Vision, Values, Goals, Knowledge and Skills, Habits, and Daily Activities. Set new directions for yourself and prepare your Personal Improvement Plan (PIP). Draw a piegram with wedges of time allotted to Work, Family, Rest, Community, Self. Ask if the wedges should be arrayed differently?

Don’t wait until you’rewinded to quit smoking or until your doctor tells you, to lose weight. Be proactive and creative with personal change, not reactive. Use feedback from business associates to improve on-the-job performance, such as meetings-on-time. The payoffs are in personal mastery, as well as in a healthier lifestyle and attitude.

Frequently Asked Questions

“I always start off great guns, then fall off the wagon. Any suggestions?”
Sure! Four times is the average number of relapses in habit change. Relapse prevention is tied to what you tell yourself when you do slip. We perfectionists are all-or-none thinkers. When we get off the diet, we tell ourselves we failed at dieting, rather than saying “That’s okay. I’ll trim back next time.” Don’t try to achieve too much too soon. Realistic goals with small interim steps (and celebration at milestones) is a better strategy.
“How can I motivate others when I can’t get started myself?”
The pain of changing has to be less than the pain of staying the same. You can’t motivate others; they motivate themselves. But you can turn up the heat on the undesirable aspects of the present state – even better, the desirable aspects of the future state. Use the power of hope, not the fanning of fear. Paint a picture of the positive, the healthy. For example, I became a runner, rather than a non-smoker.
“Are there ways to accelerate change?”
Take some tips from self-help groups. They capitalize on support groups, buddies and mentors. And the public accountability of measurement. Utilize these social aspects of change. Be patient. It is said to take 21 days to change a habit, from inception to embedding the new behavior.


Key Associates offers coaching and facilitation in change management for organizations and individuals. Contact us for more information.

Reviews on many self-help books: Self-Guided Change.

Works on behavioral change: Behavior Modification and Personal Change.

Here’s an internet course using William Bridges’ ideology: Making Personal Change.

Useful Websites & Newsletters

Personal change competencies: Personal Change Competencies.

An A-Z for personal change: Essays for the Wayfarer.

Personal Change exists to provide tools and coaching, empowering you to accelerate specific and lasting improvement by your design.


  • Ban Breathnach, Sara. Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self. Warner Books, 1998.
  • Beckhard, Richard & Pritchard, Wendy. Changing the Essence: The Art of Creating and Leading Fundamental Change in Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992.

  • Bridges, William. Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1980.
  • Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Running Press, 2000.
  • Hagberg, Janet O. Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations. Sheffield Publishing Company, 2002.
  • Johnson, Spencer & Blanchard, Ken. Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life. Putnam Publishing Group, 1998.
  • Kilmann, Ralph H. Beyond the Quick Fix. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988.
  • Kirkpatrick, Don L. How to Manage Change Effectively. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-bass, 1990.
  • McGraw, Philip. Life’s Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters. Hyperion, 1999.
  • Prochaska, James, John Norcross, Carlo DiClemente. Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. Avon Self-Help Books, 1994.
  • Quinn, Robert E. Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within. Jossey-Bass, 1996.
  • Richardson, Cheryl. Life Makeovers. Broadway Books, 2000.
  • Salsbury, Glenna. The Art of the Fresh Start. Health Communications, 1995.
  • Tichy, Noel M. & Devanna, Mary A. The Transformational Leader . New York: John Wiley, 1986.
  • Tracey, Brian. Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals. Amacom, 2001.
  • Woodward, Harry & Buchholz, Steve. AfterShock: Helping People Through Corporate Change. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1987.
  • Zimmerman, Brenda, Curt Lindberg and Paul Plsek. Edgeware: Insights from Complexity Science. Irving, TX: VHA, Inc., 1998.


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