What Does 'Be the Change' Mean Today?

10/06/2010 04:59 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Debbie Robins Named One Of The Top Leadership, Executive and Culture Coaches. Best-selling Author/Proud Huffington Post Blogger

I recently met a group of people involved in producing an event called Leaders Causing Leaders, who are as passionate about the importance of leadership, and leader "shifts" (shifts, as in consciousness) as I am. They read my last blog entitled "CEO's -- Here's One Four Letter Word to Start Using! That Word is Love!"and asked me to join their prestigious assembly of futurists.

Based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s premise that: "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus," they are gathering visionaries from around the globe, young and old, to advocate for the change they believe will enrich our world. If you don't believe in the power of consensus, just look at what happened when the eco/green movement reached its tipping point (consensus): It is now "uncool" and down right "unacceptable" not to be green. That's a great thing.

To surface the consensus these leaders are dedicating their lives to mold, I asked them all the same question:

If a genie with a magic lamp granted you one request, one wish for something important to change in the world, what change would you ask for and what would be the consensus of opinion this change would solidify?

For me, I would want the global business community to make human capital as important as financial capital. Our new global disease is "unhappiness" and it's being fueled in large part by mismanaged work environments, environments where we presently spend in excess of 75 percent of our time. The consensus that would come from this shift would be that people's well being would be as valuable to a company as their profitability. Unsurprisingly, when people are treated better they perform better.

Here's what Stephen M. R. Covey, Byron Katie, Niurka, William Spady, Guru Singh, Matthew and Terces Engelhart, Yvonne and Rich Dutra-St. John, Cynthia Kersey and Dani Katz had to say:

If a genie with a magic lamp granted you one request, one wish for something important to change in the world, what change would you ask for and what would be the consensus of opinion this change would solidify?

"I would wish for trust to increase significantly everywhere in our global society -- in ourselves, in our relationships, in our organizations, in our institutions (including business and government), in our communities, between nations and in society at large. Today, there seems to be a crisis of trust everywhere we turn, and this distrust tends to perpetuate itself, further exacerbating all the current problems and challenges we face. The consensus that would emerge from a significant increase in trust at every level wouldn't be that our problems would simply go away (although they would diminish); rather, our ability and effectiveness in confronting our problems would dramatically improve as we would find ourselves capable of addressing the challenges we face in a truly collaborative and interdependent manner that is impossible to reach without trust."
--Stephen M. R. Covey, author of "The Speed of Trust"

About Stephen M.R. Covey
He carries the same name as his father, author of one of the most influential books of the last century, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," but this Covey is one of today's most sought-after authorities on trust, ethics and leadership.

"I would wish that everyone in the world could understand one simple truth: that when we believe our stressful thoughts, we suffer, but that when we question these thoughts, we don't suffer. If everyone understood that it is our thoughts about reality that cause all our problems, not reality itself, that would be the end of anger, sadness, fear and all war. Reality is always kinder than our thoughts about it. When the mind questions the mind, it finds intelligent, creative options it never dreamed of. Actually, self-inquiry is the genie in the magic lamp."
--Byron Katie

About Byron Katie
"The Work" is a system of self-inquiry designed to eliminate stress and suffering in the world. Oprah gives a thumbs up to "The Work of Byron Katie," as do her multitudes of fans and followers. Katie overcame depression, addiction and rage to rebuild a peaceful, joyful life where changing the world is as simple as changing your thoughts.

"I would ask that each person be given the awareness of his or her individual freedom to choose and power to create a meaningful and purposeful experience of life. Rather than blaming others, making others wrong, or expecting other people or situations to change, instead each individual would realize that when you change, the world around you changes. You have that much power! No matter what shows up in your experience, you can take ownership for your response and choose where to direct your energy and focus. This would create the consensus that by shifting our individual and collective energy and focus into solutions rather than problems, we can heal our challenges and create a future of great possibility. One person's awakening elevates the consciousness of the planet. You are the one!"

About Niurka
A transformational teacher whose work is based in uniting the world of business with the wisdom in mind, body and soul. A teen runaway turned door-to-door salesperson turned corporate trainer (who earned a six-figure salary by age 20, no less), Niurka encourages inner power through language, influence and love.

"My wish is for a society that sheds its fixation with competition, consumption, comparison and conflict, and instead openly embraces and honors collaboration, consideration, creativity and compassion -- in its relationship with the planet's ecosystem, other nations and the education of its children. This deep cultural shift would elevate the quality of life and human relationships across the entire world, make "sustainability" a reality and open the door to "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward All" becoming a new, unique, transformational chapter in recorded history."
--William Spady

About William Spady
Dr. Spady is an acclaimed sociologist and the preeminent advocate for Outcome-Based Education. For nearly half a century, he's been on the front lines of educational reform, curriculum design, empowerment strategy and leadership training, authoring about a dozen authoritative works along the way.

"It has taken millions of years to make the preparations for what we are now to accomplish in this one lifetime ... such is the amazement of the hand ... known to us as evolution.

"The magic lamp enables leadership to bravely embark as pioneers on Earth, to manage and master the new priorities of life and inspire emotional, psychological and spiritual breakthroughs ... breakthroughs of an entirely new and enthusiastic human evolution ... in fact a re-evolution.

"Many global leaders join this re-evolution and redefine the meaning of conflict ... conflict becomes an unwanted pattern in the very humane patterns of human well being.

"In this new re-evolution, leaders are elected to teach their subjects these vital lessons and lead human beings toward becoming humane. Leadership lives by the example of life's greatest possibilities."
--Guru Singh

About Guru Singh
A teacher, writer, musician, shaman, minister and healer, Guru Singh is credited for bringing Kundalini Yoga (the yoga of awareness) to the West. A former Haight-Ashbury stalwart and Warner Bros recording artist in the 1960s, Guru Singh has worked with the Dalai Lama, University of Pennsylvania and Seal and was rated, really, "Best Guru" by Los Angeles Magazine.

"That unconditional love would be born in the hearts of all humankind. We would start to see life from the perspective of 'what would love do now.'"
--Matthew and Terces Engelhart, Café Gratitude

About Matthew and Terces Engelhart
The Engelharts have based the business model of their Café Gratitude restaurant chain, accompanying cookbook, "Sacred Commerce book," The Abounding River board game and two farms on shaking up the existing paradigm. Experts on bringing respect and love to the workplace, they treat business as an opportunity to awaken.

"If a genie with a magic lamp granted us one request that request would be that every child could live in a world where they feel safe, loved and celebrated, not just every young person but the child that still lives in each and everyone of our hearts. We would look to the behavior of and voices of the children who still remember that differences are wonderful and that divisions hurt us all. It would be the consensus of opinion that there is no such thing as a bad kid and all of life is sacred."
--Yvonne & Rich Dutra-St John, Challenge Day

About Rich and Yvonne Dutra-St. John
Millions of viewers applaud "MTV's" "If You Really Knew Me" for confronting real-life hostilities in American high schools through Challenge Day workshops. Rich and Yvonne Dutra-St. John co-founded Challenge Day after decades working with young adults to create environments where teens feel safe, loved and celebrated.

I'd ask the genie that as a society, we would be more committed to ensuring that every child on the planet has access to education as we are to losing weight. That we'd spend even a fraction of what we spent last year on skincare products as we do to ensure that no child is left behind. That we'd care as much about taking care of our planet's children as we do about feeding our dogs and cats. Last year we spent $60 billion on weight loss programs, $45 billion feeding our pets and $160 billion on skin care. It's estimated that $11 billion would provide every child on the planet with access to education. We don't have a money problem. We have a values problem. And when enough of us care enough to do something, we can uplift our children and change the world.
___Cynthia Kersey

About Cynthia Kersey, Unstoppable Enterprises
Cynthia Kersey is the bestselling author of the book "UNSTOPPABLE," a work for which she researched and interviewed hundreds of America's greatest achievers. In her she reveals their secrets and traits and outlines a simple process that anyone can apply to create unstoppable results in their life. Scott DeGarmo, former editor of Success Magazine said "UNSTOPPABLE is this generation's Think & Grow Rich." Cynthia's passion is giving back, and the mission of her non-profit the UNSTOPPABLE Foundation is to raise funds and awareness for women's issues worldwide.

"I choose sovereignty for the entire human race -- sovereignty of mind. My genie deprograms the species in an instant -- freeing our minds of social, cultural and ancestral programs that would have us believe anything but the truth of our limitless potential and the boundless possibility that is available to us in every moment. Free of mind, we have the luxury of being (and loving) ourselves, of seeing (and loving) others, and of truly experiencing the truth of our Oneness. Free of mind, we are open to creativity, innovation, resources and action steps that will absolutely render this beautiful planet of ours balanced and at peace, blooming and booming with love, abundance and joy, and a kickin ' bass line, to boot.

"So be it, for so it is."
--Dani Katz, writer and empowered languaging consultant

Let's renew ourselves today to "be the change!"
Debbie Robins