16 Capacities to Change the World

There are a lot of people who want to change the world. However, many get frustrated because they don’t know what it takes.

After more than a decade of teaching people around the world how to do itI’ve decided to share this list of key skills, abilities, knowledge, and dispositions. They’re based off my life as I’ve worked for social justice, and they are what I’ve seen consistently in my mentors, heros, and students. These capacities make the difference between people who talk about changing the world and people who actually change the world.

16 Capacities to Change the World

  1. Change Management—Successfully move people, leadership, and constituents through transitions and times of change.
  2. Humility—Develop and maintain a modest view of your own importance in public and personal  perspectives regarding your efforts.
  3. Collaboration & Teamwork—Build and sustain the necessary group and cross-group cohesion and operations needed to maintain success.
  4. Conflict Management—Identify and successfully navigate conflicts and problems from an operational, day-to-day perspective.
  5. Decision-Making—Discern how, when, where, and why to make decisions, and how to help others make decisions, both on a micro- and meta-level scale.
  6. Diversity & Cultural Competency—Acknowledge, embrace, and enable all sorts of differences as powerful motivators and assets.
  7. Coaching—Guide, transition, and mentor others through their daily professional and personal challenges without attempting to teach or lead them.
  8. Motivating & Empowering—Meaningfully engage others in consistent, substantive, and sustainable ways?
  9. Personal &  Professional Goal Development—Recognize your own goals and their relevance to your position, as well as help others do the same.
  10. Knowledge Management—Using diverse ways of identifying, developing, sharing, and effectively using the knowledge of communities, individuals, and organizations to change the world.
  11. Problem-Solving—Effectively, consistently, and realistically identify, address, critique, and re-imagine challenges.
  12. Training & Facilitation—Successfully identify and meet the needs of people through group training and individual learning.
  13. Verbal & Written Communication/Public Presentation—Engage the public through customer service and imaging.
  14. Personal Engagement—Foster your own connection to the work you’re doing, maintain that connection, and sustain the relevance of the work you’re doing throughout your own life, as well as help others do the same.
  15. Compassion—The ability to establish and foster empathy with people and places outside of your own personal or professional sphere.
  16. Systems Thinking—Seeing how small things that seem separated can create big things through complicated interactions.

If you’re really interested in these capacities, send me a message for my free self-assessment tool. I also provide training and coaching in each of these capacities for groups and individuals.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below!

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One response to “16 Capacities to Change the World”

  1. […] other week I published 16 Capacities to Change the World. So many of you responded so awesomely to it, that I have been thinking over each item carefully […]


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