Listen to the Voices

The RC Factor (Resistance to Change) is critical to the status quo.

The status quo works overtime to stay that way, which means that urgent voices for different are rarely heard. There’s a plethora of historical examples that are pretty much beyond dispute. Jesus Christ comes to mind. So does Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and many others.

These are voices from our past, who were willing to persist even when the critics tried to silence them, and in each of these examples, did so by killing them.

Today, where it really becomes challenging is when someone around us chooses to speak up.

It might be someone in HR who risks their job to report the CEO for sexual harassment. It might be an unlikely activist standing up for a cause that wasn’t on our radar. It might be someone in accounting who has found a better way to do things. It might be an unknown with no power or authority, who stands up and says what they think.

We can’t judge those that challenge the status quo merely because they broke a rule that existed only to maintain the status quo. What we must do (rather than adjudicate first) is work harder to see, listen and support the quiet voices who have something important to say.

Truth Be Told, if we listen a bit harder, we’ll hear something that actually makes sense and compels us to change the status quo.

Published by The Leadership Consortium

Maxie Carpenter was formerly Vice President of HR & Talent Development for Wal-Mart Stores. After a 27-year career, he began to pursue a number of other interests, which included alternative education, nonprofits, consulting, writing and public speaking.

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