I once told the story of a man named Robert. In going through a personal transformation, he transformed his organization. As he reflected on the profound change in his organization, he wondered why it now seemed so easy and why there was now a positive culture. He then answered his own question: “I know it all happened because I confronted my own insecurity, selfishness, and lack of courage.”
Robert was coming to understand that we transform the organization by transforming ourselves. This is a highly resisted concept. When we are failing and disempowered, we “know” that bad things are happening because of the people and circumstances around us.
We are in fact, correct. Those people around us are in the normal state. They are pursuing their own self-focused agendas, and the collective environment is one of distrust and decreasing capacity.
Unfortunately, we are in the same condition. We accept the world as it is, and we become what we behold. From our normal state, we know it is nonsense to claim that we change the organization by transforming ourselves. (Quinn, Building the Bridge as you Walk on It: pg. 69)