Culture July 3rd, 2017

Our Common Core: Embrace And Drive Change

Do you like change? Do you embrace it with your very soul?

Do you wake up every morning thinking that you’re going to change the world? Or are you like me and the best you can do is change your underwear.

I’ll be the first to admit that Zappos’ second core value is the most difficult for me. I like the status quo. I don’t like to make waves, and I am not good at change. But I am learning!

Core Value # 2: Embrace and Drive Change

While it’s important we learn not to fear change but instead embrace it enthusiastically; it is perhaps even more important that we encourage and drive it. That keeps us in a healthy state of change readiness.

One should never accept or get too comfortable with a new normal. Historically, people that can’t adapt to change are likely to fail. Either in their jobs, their marriages or other parts of their lives. For example, if you aren’t computer savvy, or refuse to learn, you’ll probably not advance as far in your career as someone who has the basics down pat. If you aren’t willing to embrace changes in your spouse or significant other as you each grow up and grow old, then chances are your marriage, too, will fail. If you aren’t willing to learn new and updated survival skills, you may not make it off the battlefield.

Don’t be afraid of change and don’t be afraid to embrace the unknown. Check out these movers and shakers from the past and present!

Mahatma Gandhi

Talk about someone who embraced and drove change! As one of India’s most influential leaders, Gandhi once organized farmers, peasants and laborers to protest against excessive land-taxes. He also led campaigns to help ease poverty, expanded women’s rights and achieved self-rule. Although Gandhi's definition of self-rule (Indian independence from other nations) differs from the Zappos definition, I do see a Holacracy tie-in there!

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony is the woman on the dollar coin, right? Right! But she is SO much more than that! She didn’t get that honor because someone woke up one day and wanted to shake up production at the U.S. Mint. Ms. Anthony was big in social reform. Not just for women, she helped to abolish slavery as well. At the age of 17, Anthony collected anti-slavery petitions, and in 1857 became the New York State Agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1878, she presented Congress with an amendment that gave women the right to vote. Talk about changing the world; this woman was a dynamo!

Jordyn Lexton

Well, heck, Jordyn Lexton, the founder of Drive Change, has our core value right there in its company name!

Do you love food trucks? Is there a favorite of yours? Well, Lexton owns an award-winning mobile kitchen in New York City called Snowday. This truck is famous for their salty/sweet grilled cheese sandwiches drizzled with maple syrup. They also serve farm-fresh food made from scratch.

While on the topic of fresh, Snowday gives a fresh start to youngsters with tough pasts. They offer yearlong, paid fellowships to those between 17-25 who’ve once been incarcerated. Lexton encourages the food truck workers to talk to their customers about the program, hoping the conversations will help spark social change. Just because someone was in jail, doesn’t mean they will be again someday.

Peter Löscher

Both Peter Löscher and Siemens learned how to embrace and drive change very quickly. Löscher was in the middle of a global bribery investigation when he was CEO of Merck. He was offered the position of CEO at Siemens and within two days, resigned from Merck to accept the offer. The Siemens Board approved the appointment, and the announcement was made to the public.

The change was inevitable for this company, but as Löscher so brilliantly puts it, “never miss the opportunities that come from a good crisis.” Once there at Siemens, Löscher put women on the Board. He didn’t do it because they were females, but because he wanted top professionals working with him side by side. The company balked, cried and whined because for too long they were “too male, too white, and too German.” Löscher made those changes regardless, and Siemens has since embraced them to a successful end.

What have you done in your personal and professional lives to embrace and drive change? Do you think you’ve made an impact on those around you? Tell us how in the comments below!