Happy New Year! How are you feeling about it? Cautious or charged? Excited or exasperated? Fearful or faithful? Tenuous or tenacious? Regardless, you should be ready to CREATE CHANGE. Do you want to lead the charge or do you want to remain a part of the dreary and boring status quo?

KEY FOR 2012 IS INNOVATION. Remember that word for the next 12 months. It’s time to take charge of change! You need it. We need it, now more than ever. Innovation is change by its very definition: Innovation: “the introduction of something new; a new idea, method or device,” (Websters).

The world never stays the same. Why should you? You cannot continue to do things the way they’ve always been done. You will stay stuck in sputtering idle, bored, frustrated and stunted. You’ve got to be the spark, the catalyst for change. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change,” Charles Darwin.

Consider this: “For every nine people who denounce innovation, only one will encourage it…For every nine people who do things the way they have always been done, only one will ever wonder if there is a better way. For every nine people who stand in line in front of a locked building, only one will ever come around and check the back door. Our progress as a species rests squarely on the shoulder of that tenth person. The nine are satisfied with things they are told are valuable. Person 10 determines for himself what has value,” Za Rinpoche and Ashley Nebelsieck,The Backdoor to Enlightenment (Three Leaves).”

Who lived and better defined innovation more in this century than the late Steve Jobs? In an excellent post entitled “Five Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs,” Tor Constantino lists Jobs’ first lesson, The Risk Lesson as most important: Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Constantino goes on to state, “The very nature of innovation requires a stark departure from the status quo and deviation from the norm. The best leaders have the vision to understand that fact and the tenacity to lead an organization to that future state despite organizational inertia and resistance.”

Who could argue that Jobs and Apple totally took charge to change our present and future? He never asked us what we wanted or needed. He TOLD us and then went about making it reality. “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary,” Steve Jobs.

Being a leader isn’t a requirement for being innovative. But don’t be surprised if, when you become innovative, you become a leader AND a success. No question, you’ll be in front of the pack. Today’s the day! Take charge for a change! Take a look at your life, your job, your family. Be innovative.

Your success and future “rests squarely on the shoulder of that tenth person.” Are you one of the nine or are you a ten?

Happy Innovative 2012!

~From the desk of Becky Morlok~

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