Are You An Agent of Change?

Are You An Agent of Change?

Are you being an agent of change in life and work?

Did you ever wish as a kid you could grow up to be a “secret agent?” In my childhood, I was a fan of a TV show called The Man from Uncle which was a spy show with the theme song Secret Agent Man. Besides dating myself, I have to admit I thought it would be cool to be an agent with a secret mission aimed at making the world a better place. Well, it turns out that all of us have the power to be an agent of change. As many of you know, these last few years much of my work has focused on the idea of Stepping Up and what happens when each one of us asks in every situation “what can I do to make things better right where I am?”

Coming back from sabbatical I have been really working with the idea of what it means for each of us to be an agent of change. An agent of change is someone who looks around and refuses to either focus on what someone else should do or simply rant about the way things are.

Help your people learn how to step up and be an agent of change.

An agent of change asks what I call the two magic questions:

  1. What part am I playing?
  2. What can I do about this situation right now?

Examples of agents of change:

  • An agent of change speaks up challenging the status quo at work by asking questions about how things might be different
  • An agent of change doesn’t sit around and talk about how bad things are, they take action by asking what one thing—however small—they can do to make things better
  • An agent of change never sits around and rant about how the world needs to be a better place without taking some action themselves to try to improve the situation

One area I have been an agent of change has to do with reducing single-use plastic that is drowning the oceans in tons of plastic garbage with over one million sea mammals and birds choking on plastic garbage yearly. In this video, I talk about one way each of us can be an agent of change on this one issue—a simple way we can make a HUGE difference.

So my challenge to you this week is simple. Take a few minutes and ask this simple question: Right now in my workplace what is one thing that needs to change and what is ONE thing you can do in the next 24 – 48  hours to be an agent of change? Then think of one thing going on in the world or your community right now that needs to change and what is ONE thing I can do in the next 24 – 48   hours?

In my keynotes on Stepping Up and in our programs we conduct inside companies we constantly remind people that being a victim, focusing on how others need to change is bad for your brand, your mental health and your world. So let’s all agree in 2016 to become Agents of Change.


Dr. John Izzo has spoken to over one million people, advised over 500 companies, authored nine best-selling books, and helped some of the world's most admired companies. He has been a pioneer in creating successful businesses and emerging work trends for over twenty-five years.

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