A part of American history that even sleepy fifth graders (and their parents) know is that Paul Revere rode to warn people that “the British are coming.” But not so many know that William Dawes rode that night in 1775. In fact, he rode further and warned more people. So why didn’t Longfellow write a poem about him?
Some speculate that Revere was more connected. He knew people. He served on committees. And the people he warned were influential leaders like Sam Adams. Revere left a written first-person account. He liked to talk. And he lived in Boston, whereas Dawes moved out of town.
So what’s this got to do with change management, I hear you mutter. It goes to Level 3 support or resistance. Do people even know who you are? When your name comes up, do people look quizzical trying to place that name with a face? Or, do people roll their eyes when your name is mentioned? Or, ideally, do they smile, knowing that you are on the job?
The answer to that question says a lot about how easy or hard it will be for you to get others interested in your ideas. Too often, we think that just doing a good job is enough. We think we can hide our light under a bushel, and people will search us out looking for our wisdom. That rarely happens.