The Ransomware I Want as a Leader


The recent global ransomware cyberattack got me thinking about the forces that create change in our lives. Sometimes, being forced or incentivized to do something (or not do something) can be a good thing. What if you got these ransomware messages as a leader?

“Oops, your access to self doubt has been suspended! Submit the payment within 24 hours or benefit from increased confidence, courage and risk-taking ability.”

 “Uh oh, your connection to water cooler discussions and office gossip has been interrupted. Send your payment before the time is up or become more positive and less paranoid.”

 “Oops, your social media access has been reduced to 1 hour a day! Submit the payment within 24 hours or enjoy increased focus and productivity.”

 “Doh! Your Netflix credentials and viewing history have been encrypted! Submit the payment within 24 hours or have more time for exercise or interactions with real people.”

If this type of ransomware was actually a real thing, it might just get us motivated to make some changes. And why is that? Because it would force us to experience the pain of paying up. In order to restore something we once had, we’d actually have to lose money. This causes us to consider how valuable that thing we lost really was in the first place. It would force us to examine our actions more carefully.

But what if we could take a look at our actions and habits without having to face the threat of an  inconvenience like losing money? What other forces could actually jolt us out of the current state and into change?

Clarity of Vision: The clearer you are about the benefits of your desired future state, the stronger the attractive forces will be that draw you towards it. Imagine what life would be like once the change occurs, and envision all of the positive implications.

Clarity of Commitment: The more deliberate you can be about your level of commitment to the change, the easier it will become to take steps towards it. Are you only kinda committed? Or, are you all in? If you’re all in, then what are you waiting for?

Naming Your Fears: Stopping to actually name the fears related to change will shine a light on their validity or invalidity. How real or exaggerated are they? What can you learn from them? What can you set aside? What are you prepared to risk for the sake of positive change?

Being Held Accountable: Goals and intentions set without the support of accountability generally remain in the realm of the theoretical. That’s because we need help bridging the gap from stated desire to concrete action. Accountability does just that, and it can take multiple forms.

Learning Something New: Sometimes we feel like we don’t have the tools, knowledge or know-how to take a step into a changed way of being. This may be a convenient excuse, but it also might represent a legitimate gap that needs filling. Identify the needed knowledge and reach out to get it.

Getting Inspired by Others: Be attentive to others who have stories of positive change in action. What did they do, and what was the result of the change they enacted?