Tips From Change Leaders
Professor Jonathan Colton of PACE University created an experimental class on leadership and change and assigned Our Iceberg Is Melting. He shared with us one student’s story:
It is going to sound extremely cheesy, but this book really grew on me. I will be the first to admit, I was very skeptical when I first read the book.
If you recall, right after reading the book I walked into class complaining about how the authors were oversimplifying important issues and that the book was a flop. You asked me to read the book a second time and that it was me that didn't understand the theme of the book. So I did as I was told, and thank God I did because there was so much I would have missed and I would be less of a person today because of it.
After learning the eight steps to change I decided to test them out with a real life experience. My iceberg was my little brother. He is in his senior year of high school and he was contemplating dropping out. It's a problem that has plagued my family all year with no real positive results. Every time anyone from my immediate family would approach him, we would walk away with the same response. After reading the book, I convinced myself that I had to try the eight steps because by the day my iceberg was melting and my brother was getting closer and closer to leaving school. So the first thing I did was to sit my family down with the exclusion of my little brother and discussed the situation in order to establish a sense of urgency. Everyone agreed this was our family's biggest dilemma and should be our number one priority.
The next thing I did was to put together my team: my father (Louis), my older brother (Buddy), my grandfather (Professor), my little sister (Scouts), my mother (Alice). From that point we created a strategy of how we were going to go about getting my little brother a high school diploma. I have to say it resembled the first meeting in the book where everyone was arguing, no one would agree, but we did get thru it and come up with a strategy that we all could agree on. My brother claimed his problem with school is he couldn't sit inside of class. He couldn't learn under that kind of atmosphere. So the plan we came up with was to allow him to get home schooled but still receive a high school diploma from our local high school.
The school agreed to work with him but it would cost two thousand dollars a month to pay for the teachers to come to the house. Our resolution to that problem was that if my little brother really didn't want to be in the actual high school then he would have to work to pay the teachers to teach him. We would provide him a job with one of my uncles so he could keep on eye on him. My little brother would work Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm at which point he would come home and meet his tutors at four and the money would be taken out of his pay. I was literally able to follow the exact steps of the book and I was successful.
I empowered others to act. For example, my little sister was able to get the tutors to agree because she is in the same high school. My mother, father, and grandfather sat my brother down and got him to agree.
We didn't let up; we just kept on going.
We were persistent and as a family as a whole we created short term goals to keep us and most importantly my little brother motivated. Now, thanks to this book, my little brother is working and doing well in school and a new culture has been created in my family.