After reading Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, I was inspired by how valuable knowledge was embodied in such a simple fable. The author uses four characters, Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw, to enlighten readers about change and work. After Sniff and Scurry discover that the cheese is gone, they immediately search for new stock. On the other hand, Hem and Haw complain about the situation until Ham decides to take essential steps and seek an alternative source of cheese. While the book is fictitious, its message widely applies to real-life scenarios, hence fostering my need to overcome fear and adopt transformational leadership.
After exploring the book, I realized that I could easily relate to the habits of the four characters in the maze. Hem and Haw relied on their ability to think and find new cheese, while Sniff and Scurry used trial and error and their instincts (Johnson, 2002). Long after the characters discover their replenishment, Hem and Haw lose the zeal to visit the cheese corridor. I have observed similar traits in my life, whereby I become enthusiastic when setting goals. However, sometimes, I tend to be too comfortable after achieving some objectives to the extent of forgetting that I need to review the plans frequently to monitor and control risks that may arise. However, among the four characters, Ham is the one I feel most associated with because I always find new ways of dealing with emerging problems.
Interestingly, watching the video reminded me of a similar situation that I was involved in. During one of the summer breaks, I secured a job as a customer service representative in one of the startup food outlets near my home. The main objective of seeking part-time employment was to supplement my spending allowances. A few weeks later, the management introduced a programmed machine that could take customer orders and respond to almost every inquiry about the products. Unfortunately, all part-time workers in the customer contact center were retrenched. I was frustrated after I lost my cheese (my job), which I considered the only source of income. From then on, I remained at home until schools were reopened.
After watching the “Leading Change” video, I realized that I could have handled the above situation differently. Firstly, I should have acknowledged that change is bound to happen in the telecommunication sector, especially because of technological advancement. Secondly, it would have been essential to anticipate this change and develop new ways of remaining competitive in the business. For instance, I could have identified and capitalized on a unique skill that I possessed, which surpassed the machine’s capability. Had I managed to keep the job, it would have been critical to developing new ideas to remain relevant in the organization rather than being comfortable about my short-term achievements.
After reading the book, watching the video, and reflecting on myself, I have realized that I can achieve more by undergoing personal change. Particularly, I desire to overcome the fear of attempting new ideas. For a while now, I have been losing opportunities because of my fear of the unknown. In most cases, the risks involved in a given task also tended to overcloud my enthusiasm to try. The proposed transformation is going to help me fulfill all the plans that I have regarding my schoolwork and career. Notably, Johnson’s statement, “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” will be my daily motivation (Johnson, 2002, p. 32). If I can overgrow my current worries as an undergraduate, I can accomplish more professional tasks.
The video has taught me the need to undergo personal change and the importance of helping others to transform their lives and adopt an ideal leadership style. Since I have learned various concepts in this course, I would choose to enlighten people around me on the benefits they would enjoy by choosing a different path to encourage them to change habits that hinder their growth. Just like Ham left marks on the wall for Hem to follow, I would also ensure that I guide my friends on ways of attaining their full potential. Besides, the video has helped me realize the need to adopt a transformational type of leadership both at school and in my future career. A unique feature of this style of leading is adaptability, whereby I can easily monitor and initiate change when the need arises. Fortunately, my intended personal change matches my leadership strategy because I can easily foster change if I choose to overcome fear.
Overall, the Who Moved My Cheese? The parable has enhanced my understanding of embracing personal change and transformational leadership style. The story has helped me realize how I could have dealt with past experiences. One lesson I have learned from the fable is the significance of anticipating, monitoring, and adapting to change. With this knowledge, I choose to help others transform their lives positively. Just like Ham, I will embrace the hope that those I enlighten will eventually follow in my footsteps.
Johnson, S. (2002). Who moved my cheese? An a-mazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life. New York, United States of America: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.