Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Everyone Wants Better, No One Wants Change

Everyone wants to own the result...

I turn on the radio and everyone's talking about how they want change.

People want a better economy, but nobody's willing to share in the financial hit it'll take to get us back on track.

People want better schools, but nobody wants to rock the system, the unions, the teachers, the role of parents.

People want lower health care costs, but nobody wants to endure the changes to medicine, law and bureaucracy it'll take to get it.

People want lower insurance, but nobody wants to adopt the changes in lifestyle and behavior that'll drive it.

People want to be thinner, healthier and happier, but nobody wants to own actions it takes to get there.

People want lower gas prices, but nobody wants to radically shift their consumption patterns.

People want homeless brothers and sisters off the street, as long as it's N.I.M.B.Y.

Everyone wants to own the result, nobody wants to own the process.

Especially when it involves change or disruption to the patterns around which they've grown accustomed.

A really smart entrepreneur once told me Maslow got it wrong.

The fundamental need is not survival, but rather the need to not have to endure change.

I laughed. But, increasingly, I'm finding truth in those words.

I often hear different definitions of leadership.

How about this...

A leader is someone who is willing to own not just the result, but the process.

What do you think?

Jonathan Fields is an attorney turned serial-entrepreneur, business strategist, speaker and author. He writes about the creativity, innovation, embracing uncertainty, leadership, entrepreneurship, mindfulness and lifestyles at Jonathan's latest book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance, is due out in September 2011 from Penguin/Portfolio. When not deep into the process of creation, you can usually find him dancing around his living room with his wife and daughter.