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Three Behaviors Necessary for Change

Posted by Lon Swartzentruber on Jun 11, 2019, 8:00:00 AM

LS May-June Blog image Trust and vulnerabilityOur mission at Design Group International is clear: we help organizations and their leaders transform for a vibrant future. The word transform indicates some type of change. We deal with change every day and with every client.

As you might imagine, over the years, we have learned a lot about change. But mostly we’ve learned that change takes courage, curiosity, and trust.

Over the next few months, through my blog writing, I plan to take a deep dive into change and the three behaviors that I’ve found helpful in approaching, embracing, and engaging it.

This month, let’s take a bird’s-eye view of change and how practicing courage, curiosity, and trust can help. Let’s take them in reverse order.


When change occurs, trust is often tested. Do you trust yourself as a leader of change? Do you trust the process you’ve chosen to guide you? And do you trust others when they question that process? Building trust always and without exception, requires vulnerability. Being vulnerable with others and yourself can be tough. Developing trust, both in yourself and with others, can help everyone embrace change instead of pushing it away.


When change happens, there is a lot of new. New people, new ways of doing things, new deadlines, new voices, new perspectives, and new outcomes. Approaching change from a posture of curiosity helps you create a sense of openness. Being curious will keep you engaged with what is emerging as it is emerging. Expect new stuff to happen, anticipate it, and approach it with a posture of curiosity to see where it will go.


Yikes, this one can be challenging, especially when the change is happening to you. Seven months ago, I succeeded Mark Vincent as CEO of Design Group International, which Mark founded in 2001. Since then, I’ve had to dive deep into courage. I’ve had to let go of a few things and be willing to grab hold of what is emerging. I’ve had to be open to what is happening, to what is changing in me, and to what is changing for Design Group. It’s kind of like jumping off a ledge, not knowing what your feet will find and hoping for a soft landing.

Change is no small thing, and it isn’t easy. But approaching change with courage, curiosity, and trust certainly helps. Next month I’ll take a deeper dive into courage, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you have a question, thought or example you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it! Please comment below. You may also reach me directly at

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Topics: leadership coaching, lon swartzentruber, business, deep dive, nonprofit, education, faith-based community