Recently within the Leadership Think Tank discussion group of LinkedIn, a rather long thread has evolved and taken on a life of its own regarding whether it is possible for people to change. It seems many of us have something to say about it! I have written elsewhere about this subject, and also added my comment to the thread.
There are many wonderful ideas on the thread, but in some ways it is a hapless question. If you say that people can change, you are going to have to face all the good arguments against that belief, and if you don’t believe people can change, you are going to have to encounter all the good reasons to believe they can.
I only want to add the thought there are times when, like a hermit crab, I believe we have to abandon a once comfortable shell that we have outgrown. If we want to be bigger — if we need to be — we have to leave one shell behind and take our chances in the open until we find another. Sometimes this is a difficult process and takes a long time; sometimes things almost magically come together.
I would say this pretty much explains the last twenty years or so of my life. It also has implications for making decisions about who we can best help and how.
I’m sure you can see what side of the argument I am on.