Despite the fact that in one week, I’ll be uprooting my life and moving to D.C, I have always been a person who resists change. I am a homebody. I like to grow deep roots and stay in one place for a long time. After the success of Made to Switch, Chip Heath and Dan Heath went on to write Switch. This is a book about change, specifically behavioral change. How do you get your roommate to start doing her share of the chores, or your dad to vote for a particular political candidate?
For a behavior change to occur, there needs to be a switch in thinking. Despite my crummy habits, I admit that change is good and I really should learn to embrace it more often.
Despite most people’s resistance to change, Chip and Dan remind us that change is inevitable in all our lives. Change comes in big ways such as: marriage, birth of children, taking a new job and moving far away for a new job (like me). They also point out that some changes are bigger than others. For example, my recent willingness to eat grapefruit (true story) cannot be compared with the change of moving across the country to work n a place that might as well be a foreign country to this Oregon girl.
They argue that in order for successful changes to take place, there needs to be an active leader. One thing this leader can do is: to change someone’s behavior, you have to change his or her situation. This balance of power, or leadership is equated to an elephant and its rider. While the elephant is a strong and powerful creature, there is still a little guy on top of him who has the reigns.
“When people try to change things, they’re usually tinkering with behaviors that have become automatic, and changing those behaviors requires careful supervision by the Rider. The bigger the change you’re suggesting, the more it will sap people’s self-control.”
I’m committing to personally get on board with change and also apply the principles in this book to encourage others to do the same. Will you? Now, if only we could get Hillary Clinton to change her wardrobe.