Are you the reason why your therapist needs a therapist? Is it because you complain about everything wrong in the world or specific issues in your community? If yes – GOOD! Just step up and do something about it. Be a constructive irritant you want to see in the world.

You are probably wondering what a constructive irritant is?

You're not alone on your quest to save the world. You are a piece of domino. Upheave the status quo by creating a domino effect!

Dan Trepanier

Mentor Coach , Are You a Constructive Irritant? – Good For You!

Stepping up is contagious. So one person matters because when you aggregate all those actions together, something big happens, and when we step up, we create a ripple that grows.

When Dr. John Izzo released his sixth book titled Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything! He showed us how stepping up and taking responsibility is right for your career, good for the community, makes your relationships better and might save the world.

John says, “Stepping Up is seeing a need and deciding you are the person who can, should and will do something about it. We live in a time when we face so many problems such as poverty, and climate change can only be solved when each of us steps up in our sphere of influence to create change. What we need are people at work and in communities who step up and decide they are going to create change”.

In 2012 John’s Izzo published a research book highlighting how people who speak up and challenge the status quo bring constructive ideas for change and are rated more highly by their superiors and are more likely to get ahead in life.

But there is a caveat because people who finger point and blame are rated poorly, so the key is to be what John calls a “constructive irritant.”

For years I’ve observed first hand how speaking up and challenging things can sometimes get you in trouble – Dan Trepanier.

“Speak up with ideas rather than blame and always begin by saying here is what I will do.

According to John’s research, the number one reason people said they don’t step up is that they think “I am only one person it won’t matter if I step up.” So what if I recycle or stop using plastic bags at the store, if I try to do something about work-life balance in my company, or if I take a step to improve morale in my workplace. This feeling that it won’t matter if we step up is dangerous.

One reason we don’t step up, according to John, is we forget two essential concepts.

  • The first is what he calls aggregate influence: one person’s actions get aggregated with that of many others, and suddenly it has a significant impact. The irony is that unless individuals take action, there is no aggregate influence.
  • The second is what he calls the responsibility ripple, that when one person steps up, it challenges others to step up.

Sitting in the audience at a live event listening to John describe what a constructive irritant was hit me like a ton of bricks back in 2012. OMG, he’s talking about me! 

Interestingly enough, at the end of his presentation, numerous colleagues walked up to me in laughter, stating that I was the first person that came to mind as John explained the virtues of a constructive irritant.

That faithful day was a turning point in a part of my professional self-identity. 

I finally felt somewhat validated and rather ‘stoked’ that someone had come up with the ‘lingo’ to describe people like me — who are rather tenacious (and at times a tad irritating) in fighting ‘the Borg’ for the underdog and challenging the status quo. 

For me, it’s all about DOING WHAT MATTERS. – Dan Trepanier — Constructive Irritant!

Go to this site, and you will see videos of some of the people John Izzo features in the book

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