You would have to live in a cave to not have heard of the 2012 phenomena and the cataclysmic or transformative events that have been calculated to occur on this fateful day. And as the date looms nearer…we will continue to be inundated with media exposure to doomsayers, scientists, and other experts regarding their thoughts and views around this end times prophecy.
According to wikipedia…“the 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on 21 December 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125 year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.”
Furthermore, wikipedia shares that…“scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring in 2012. Professional Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any extent classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar ‘ends’ in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture. Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the proposals as pseudoscience, stating that they conflict with simple astronomical observations and amount to a distraction from more important science concerns, such as global warming and loss of biological diversity.”
Whether current science and scientists shed light on the unnecessary concerns we have around this date…media platforms will continue to blow the growing concerns and anxiousness around this 2012 phenomena out of proportion.
We will also find a spectrum of attitudes and stances from the people around us as they internalize these ongoing media reports of our impending doom. Some will laugh and ridicule these predictions as a hoax of the worst kind intended to to waste our time and energy. While others, completely on the other side of the spectrum, are consumed by the predications and have taken on a batten-down-the-hatches attitude and prepare hastily for this possible end of world event. Along with every other type imaginable in-between…
In much the same manner and attitude as those around us consider the 2012 phenomena…go our initiatives and change efforts in our organizations.
As change agents, leaders will face these very same attitudes and stances as they pursue and work towards implementing new ideas and initiatives within their own organizations. Understanding and acknowledging this will assist leaders as they traverse the path of change in the face of their current situation and the power that status quo often anchors in organizations. While not all covered, here are a few of those very attitudes that we will most likely encounter on this path:
- The Laugher/Scoffer – consider any new change or initiative as a joke or hoax. They laugh and scoff at any probability of the initiative or effort ever getting off the ground. Most efforts are met with sarcasm and disdain. For them, the change effort or initiative serves as new material for staff lounge impersonations and water fountain comedy routines.
- The Skeptic – are wary that there is any possibility that the change effort or initiative could ever really work. They find a plethora of reasons that it will not work and feel not only happy, but obliged to share those many reasons with any and every one around them. And for those reasons, see no need to consider or begin any type of implementation effort.
- The Apprehensive/Anxious – see the positives in the initiative or change effort, however they are unsure of their ability or skills to implement. For that reason, the change effort or initiative brings anxiousness. It keeps them focused on the status quo. Not being sure of their ability to meet the demands of the initiative causes them to remain on the side of what they know, what is safe. They take on blinders and stay focused on what’s right in front of them, not to get too far ahead with things that they don’t need to concern themselves with in their current circumstances.
- The Maybe/Possible – see that there may be possibility for this new initiative or change effort to work, yet remain wary. They don’t want to be the initial implementers. They want to watch and see others give it a go and determine from their results if they are on board with the effort or initiative. Show me it will work and I will give it a try. Need proof to move forward.
- The Proclaimer – these people get the change effort or initiative right out of the gate. They make it known that they are onboard and ready to get at it. They want to know how they can implement and begin as soon as possible. They begin planning next steps before you can even unveil the entire change effort or initiative. Their excitement for next steps can hardly be concealed.
In much the same way we see these same types in regards to the 2012 phenomena…we must acknowledge that those same attitudes and stances will be faced any type of new initiative or change effort in our organizations.
How we prepare and differentiate to meet the challenges of each of these attitudes will make all of the difference in our ability to lead forward.
It will make all the difference in our influence to lead as change agents.