Embracing change is all about learning and relearning; change management is putting your lessons into practice. Heather Hansen O’Neill put it this way: “Sometimes we have to relearn the same lessons. In our lives, the world will keep teaching you those lessons until you get it.”

Active change management can unleash your passion to bring needed change to your career and your organization.

O’Neill is a sought-after speaker on the topic of finding your passion. You will see her as a featured guest expert on ABC, NBC, and CBS, as well as at some of the largest companies in the world, where she talks about leadership, team development, and change management. She helps her clients create deeper, more meaningful relationships in sales and customer service. 

Publio CEO Keith Reynolds describes it similarly as finding your North Star. Heather calls it finding your fire. 

Fire is your passion. Your passion is the thing that you – or your organization – do very well and reflects your innovation and values. On a personal level, your fire is life’s work. Your organization’s fire is its raison d’être. Your brand expression.

At a company level, your brand’s North Star is your brand’s voice. Just as finding your North Star becomes the focal point of your work and all your supporting initiatives, finding your passion – your fire – steers you in the right direction. 

Your customers will tune in when you are tuned in to what makes you special and aligns with what they care about. Your insights are revealed through synthesizing and internalizing data: market research, SEO, and customer feedback and expressed through action

O’Neill says it is so important to listen closely to your customers. You will hear the words they use to describe their challenges. Embrace those words. Connect your passion to their pain points. Now you can talk about solving their problems with the words and images that your clients already use.

The Mirror and Flashlight That Propels Change

“I have fire in my brand because I happen to have a little bit of energy,” O’Neill explained in this episode of the Publio Podcast. “I fan the flame for my clients, but I also believe in balance.” 

People are born to communicate. When we connect with each other, our words and phrases become energy. O’Neill sees herself as a mirror and flashlight for her clients. Knowing how to reflect and shine for her clients sounds easy, but it’s not. Turns out that timing is everything.

Passionate people – people on fire – are very good about telling themselves about the unique gifts they offer the world. These words and ideas connect their passion – their life’s work – to their products or services. That’s a good start. 

The problem with passion is that you don’t always listen as closely as you should when other people describe what they really need. The result: lost opportunities.

O’Neill works with clients to harness passion to achieve their ends. 

“People aren’t always ready to hear what I have to say,” O’Neill said. “Sometimes, you have to go through the challenges, hit the hard walls, and learn the tough lessons before you’re ready to hear what we’re talking about in a session.”

“I hold up a mirror for people so they can see the gifts and strengths that they have within them,” O’Neill said. “And then I shine a flashlight to show them how they can use these facets to increase sales, connect with customers and peers, or make a real impact on the world.”

You and your organization are most ready to take on change when you come out the other end of that hard journey. Be sure to keep the lessons you learned. Kindle your fire, listen closely, and your North Star will appear to guide your change management efforts. . 

Listen to the Publio Podcast

Jump in on the conversations and some serious real talk with executives and thought leaders on growing your business with digital media. Find us on Spotify, and follow your North Star.

We discuss innovation, marketing, business, events, books, successful must-see strategies, and anything that is positive and refreshing.

If you are responsible for your company’s success, pull up a chair, grab some coffee, tune in and connect with your customer audience.

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