The Only One to Change

Why be the only one to change?

Because you are the only one to change. 


Meet Joel, main character in Reveille, a business novel about the journey to becoming an Agile leader. He doesn’t think he needs to change, and tells his coach, Eve, the same. Even if he found something he wanted to change, why should he be the one to go first? After all, he has a mortgage and a family.

Read more in this excerpt from Reveille:

Art by Ian Corrao

Art by Ian Corrao

“Joel, how is culture going to change if one leader in the company can’t?”

“You took the words right out of my mouth.”

Eve pauses, and I enjoy my rest.

“Let’s do a five whys exercise, Joel, so we can dismantle this. Why don’t you like this assignment?”

“It’s counter culture to being a director at WL.”

“Why do you think you can’t be the first one to change your calendar?”

“Because the company’s transformation doesn’t depend solely on me.”

“Why don’t you think you are a change leader?”

“I am, but more importantly, I need my job.”

“Why do you think you’ll get fired for doing your coaching assignment? Lora and Rick are the ones who sent you here, remember?”

“Because they say one thing and do another. She will say it’s safe to change, but I know the reality of her demands. And Rick, he’s down in the weeds with us, in those one-on-ones. They say they want agile, but I don’t want to be the one who’s fired, demoted or ostracized because they found out they really don’t want to be agile.”

“Why do you think they don’t trust the coaching process?”

“Past performance is the best indicator of future outcomes.”

Eve pauses again. I enjoy yet another rest. I feel like I wrestled her five whys technique to the ground. Victory over lean! Until she speaks.

“Thank you, Joel. We dismantled that one quickly. It goes back to trust, doesn’t it?”

Boom. “Yes ma’am.”

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