Change Leaders: The Beloved Bully Is Stopping You!

Change leaders, your ability to implement needed change faces one great challenge — the beloved bully in your organization.

The beloved bully has power and influence that outstrips yours.

The beloved bully is sometimes visible, sometimes hidden. In any case, the beloved bully is well-liked! That is the source of its power.

Are you prepared to oust the beloved bully for the good of the business?

Change Leaders: Habit is the Beloved Bully.

Change Leaders, The Beloved Bully is Stopping You Image by: Paperface for sole use by Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.

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Change Leaders – The Beloved Bully Is Habit.

Habit magnetizes with the power of comfort.

Change repels with the challenge of discomfort.

Change Leaders, How Can Habit Be Both Beloved and a Bully?

Most habits feel good yet they have the power to hold us back. The power of habit bullies into staying in the beloved comfort zone instead of exploring temporary discomfort of tomorrow’s new comfort zone.

Remember change leaders, people love what habit produces — comfort and a huge sense of competence from doing things repeatedly. People begin to crave this expert feeling that habit produces. It is therefore the beloved bully.

Change Leaders – Charge Up Your Magnetism.

Identify the force of habit as the beloved bully to give your change leadership a boost:

  1. Tap the energy and power of pop culture — “doing things the old way is not cool”.
  2. Issue a challenge to teams: How can stop unquestioned habit crippling our success?
  3. Shine the beam of objectivity over fear.
  4. Show your belief that you can all overpower the power of habit.

Change Leaders Oust Habit — The Beloved Bully.

Demagnetize the power it has over your managers and your teams:

  1. Change leaders, find the beloved bully — habit.
    Habit masquerades as logic and safety.

    Habit wraps itself in politically correct labels like best practices.

    Habit embezzles the phrase empowerment. It then spreads it like a counterfeit bill to slyly slow and stop change.

    Habit raises the flag of fairness.

    Habit demands more and more data instead of acting now.

    Habit paints you as a dictator when initiating change.

  2. Question and identify it. Ask: “How are we being driven by habit? What is the risk?”
  3. Label habit-driven as bad. Make habit-driven politically incorrect.
  4. Elevate and reward critical thinking, innovative thinking and action.
  5. Follow-through with integrity. When your actions support your words, you replace the trust they have in habit with trust in your integrity and vision.  If instead your words slap them for mistakes when they break from habit, you re-magnetize the power of habit and it will bully your organization for a very long time.

“Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters.” ~Nathaniel Emmons.

Great leaders are change leaders. They move everyone forward. They can spot the beloved bully of habit lurking and working to keep everyone in today’s comfort zone.

Great change leaders inspire all to explore the temporary discomfort of learning tomorrow’s new comfort zone. They are a buoy of inspiration and balance during the tough times of change.

For 20+ years, I have guided leaders to become great change leaders by ousting the beloved bully of habit. Consultations, team building change workshops, and coaching are available to you right now. Let’s start with a conversation.

What are you doing to overpower habit’s power and inspire change and success? What is and isn’t working for you?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into business success. Masters Organizational Psychology. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

12 Responses to “Change Leaders: The Beloved Bully Is Stopping You!”

  1. Peg Gillard says:

    Great perspective! It provided me with some ideas and an open door to begin examining my own habits. Some habits are good and some will actually help move change forward faster. It is in reflecting upon ALL the habits, especially the ones that seem to be the most wide-spread or biggest obstacles that we will find the balance between positive-growth change and old die-hard habits. Thanks for the prod to reflect!

  2. Susan Mazza says:

    “The beloved bully of habit” – what a great frame for the natural pull to mindlessness. If we truly want to subdue the bully we must allow ourselves to slow down the frenetic pace. You provide sone great practices for doing that.

  3. Kate Nasser says:

    Hi Dan,
    Interesting the way you read this. I love blogging because in the comments I often read a completely different perspective. I was speaking about the force of habit as opposed to particular habits.

    Many thanks for contributing!

  4. Thought provoking perspective, Kate. When the answer to, “Why do we do this?” is “Because we’ve always done it this way,” then the beloved bully of habit is steering the ship. A skillful change leader can take the helm and adjust course by answering the question, “Who, what where and how does this habit serve our organization?”

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Questions are the beginning of a journey Bill and yours will bring people to great places!

      Many thanks for weighing in on this one. It was a post a long time in coming.

      Warmest thanks,

  5. DeeDe Baker says:

    I work for a state agency. Our organization is currently attempting to restructure. We are in the beginning phases of rewriting position descriptions and determining what each role will be in the new structure. For the most part, I fully support this, however, I am struggling with helping my coworkers move into a change that is very intimidating and threatening in their minds. Some will be required to perform different job duties, others are digging in their heals and stating their intent is to not perform different duties. How do I as a coworker, not in a position of authority, help them understand and move forward in an uncontentious manner? I do understand their frustrations and I want to be a positive influence in all these, but I struggle with the attitude of “I’m not doing that!” The habit of change is constant in what we do, and I fear change fatigue has set in. How do I help them move forward in a positive way?

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi DeeDe,
      My quick answer to your question about how to help your co-workers accept and embrace the change: Be and remain positive.

      For example, “I can feel what you are going through. I think change is frustrating but also inevitable. So I am looking to understand everything that is expected of me and respond to it.”

      This doesn’t sound like preaching or abandoning them. Yet you remain a voice of truth.

      It’s important not to get sucked into their negativity to feel accepted nor in any guise of being empathetic. Empathy and objectivity can coexist.

      **Question to you: What are the leaders doing to help people through this change? I would be happy to speak with them on the phone to lend a helping hand.

      Also, many thanks for offering such a wonderful comment and current situation here!

      Warmest regards,

  6. Giselle says:

    Hi Kate,

    I really appreciated this article. I would love if you would expand on how habit paints you as a dictator when initiating change. I think this is a blind spot for many leaders. It’s like “let the change happen” as long as I’m not required to. But this position works counter to all forward movement. I’d also like to ask you to explain what you mean by ‘Habit embezzles the phrase empowerment’. I didn’t understand and would like to ‘get’ all that you’re sharing. Thanks so much


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Giselle,
      Very interesting questions you ask. Your first question: How habit paints you as a dictator when initiating change? You mentioned you think leaders want change to happen without them changing. When leaders do this, I don’t see them as leaders. They are dreamers. Change won’t happen that way. For change to occur, leaders must be committed and engaged. They must model it vs. just speaking about it or telling others to do it.

      To your second question on what did I mean about “Habit embezzles the phrase empowerment”:
      Leaders who feel deeply for their people, many times have difficulty leading change. They feel the pain of the employees as they struggle with the change. The result? Some of them pull back and stop leading the change and mislabel that “empowerment”. They have actually said to me, I believe in empowerment and don’t want to push. We then have a discussion about leading vs. pushing. Alternatively, employees who are resisting change do so under the mislabel of “empowerment”. They often accuse leaders of being too authoritarian and not fostering empowerment.

      In truth, habit is stopping the change. The leaders’ habits of wanting to be liked. The team members’ habits of the current way of working. Habit has thus embezzled the phrase empowerment to sustain the status quo. Empowerment isn’t everyone doing what they want. It isn’t democracy. In empowered teams, everyone understands the new vision/changes needed and contributes their ideas, perspectives, talents, and skills to get there.

      I appreciate your interest and questions. You have expanded this discussion and I truly appreciate it.

      Warmest thanks,

      • Giselle says:

        Thanks so much Kate for answering my questions. NOW I understand; much better for it, and can share with others. I love the differentiation between leaders and dreamers.
        With gratitude,

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