The Howells Group Blog

What Has To Change?


“The more I push, the more they complain.” I could hear my client’s frustration, he said almost giving up, “The angrier I get, the less I see in my team.”

You know what’s ironic? The change we want for others, has to start with us. People around you are going to keep doing what they’ve been doing or not doing, unless you change what you’re doing. I’ve been coaching for 10 years, full time, and I’m still amazed at what I learn from the people I talk with every day. Change is not something that can be told, it’s something that’s realized.

Some of the hardest people to coach are those that say, “I don’t need to change.” And I was surprised he actually said it. This 55 year old executive started our coaching relationship with these words, “James, I was brought in to change this company. And they need it, not me.”

Two months later, he was silent. It had been week after week of coaching, and he finally hit the point, “I’m frustrated.”

I remember when it was me, 12 years ago. Sitting at my desk with one of my team members, “Bren, I have told you everything I can to help you. Is there anything else I can do?” Maybe it was her blank look. The way she just sat there. I could feel her lack of motivation. Maybe it was the way she said, “I don’t know.” I can still remember tipping back in my chair thinking, “I can’t do this.”

Irony. When something happens the complete opposite of what you expected. Like when you say you don’t need to change and you change. Fast forward four months – that’s what happened. I love to work with people like this! I even got to be in the room when he said it, “I need to stop talking and start listening. Stop telling everyone what I think and start asking them to think. Stop making it happen for others and start letting them do it for themselves.”

It’s the realization that leadership can stop being about you.
It’s the willingness to start developing people around you.
It’s the humility to ask them to go beyond what you know.

For change to happen, you will have to.


by James Warrick, Senior Consultant
The Howells Group, Inc.

©The Howells Group, Inc.

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