How To Lead Progress In A World Of Change

All progress is change but not all change is progress.

Most people fear and resist change. That’s why selling someone a product or an idea is so difficult: you’re asking them to make a change in their behavior or attitude. But there’s another way.

People don’t wake up in the morning wanting to alter their life for change, but they will alter their life for progress. Because progress is something better than what they had before. A step forward.

So instead of asking someone to make a change, why not lead them to progress?

To explain how to lead progress in a world of change, Dean Lindsay, spoke at another packed CityCentral Speaker Series event last Wednesday.

Dean is a powerful keynote speaker whose humorous style is like a rock & roll business-oriented Jack Black. He has been hailed as ‘America’s PROGRESS Agent’ by the Strategic HR Forum as well as an ‘Outstanding Thought Leader on the subject of Building Priceless Business Relationships’ by Sales and Marketing Executives International.

His books, THE PROGRESS AGENT HANDBOOK and BIG PHAT GOALS (winner of the Business Class News Editors’ Choice for 2018 Book of the Year), have sold over 100,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Korean, Spanish and Greek.   His new book on How to Lead Progress in a World of Change is being released in October 2019. 

Leading Progress

What is leading progress in a world of change? It means that you, your product or your business becomes a means of progress for someone instead of a change.

“You have to position things as progress and not change,” Dean said.

If you can be that progress, people will alter their lives for you. 


But before you can be that progress, you have to know two things: What’s your motivation and that you have a win on your side.

Know Your Why

It simply means that you need the power of conviction behind your actions. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, how are you going to convince someone they need what you have?

Dean says you have to take it one step further.

“You not only have to know your why,” he said. “You have to constantly strengthen your why.” 

It’s just another way of saying strengthening your conviction. Constantly evaluate your goals. Conviction leads to commitment and commitment leads to action.

“Know yourself to create your why.”

Your conviction will help you create the why in your customer’s mind – why they should do business with you.

Have A Win On Your Side

You can’t make anyone do anything. They’re going to do it because they want to. 

A real earth-shattering statement, right? But if you have a win for someone, they’re going to view you as progress and want what you’re selling.

“You truly have to believe you have a win on your side before you can go out and help somebody else progress. You have to believe YOU are progress.”

You’re creating a win-win situation. The trick is knowing how your win is a win for them and effectively communicating that to motivate them.

The 6 P’s Of Progress

People’s motivations are impossible to ever know. Well, not so much. Motivation is just a motive for action. If you give people enough motives, they will act.

Dean quoted Shakespeare: 

”Strong reasons make strong actions.”

According to Dean, people aren’t all that altruistic. They’re going to do something because they see a benefit in the action. It’s all about benefits vs. perceived consequences and the 6 P’s.

The 6 P’s of Progress:

  1. Pleasure
  2. Peace of mind
  3. Profit
  4. Prestige
  5. Pain avoidance
  6. Power

These six basic needs motivate people’s actions. If you can offer one or more of the 6 P’s you will be the progress people are looking for.

Dean gave a case in point about insurance.

“Nobody wants insurance,” he said. “But they do want what insurance can give them: pain avoidance (when it comes to paying for something out of pocket) and peace of mind.”

If you can figure out which of the 6 P’s your product or service offers, you can then understand how to market it to your customer.

“You must be positioned with the right mixture of the 6 P’s in other people’s minds. The people you want to propel into positive action.”

What you are doing is making people internalize the reasons for the action you want them to take. Be the vehicle for their progress. Be what they need.

That’s why it’s good to get to know people. They will tell you whether or not something is a benefit to them.

“The reason it’s good to get to know people is because then you can position your ideas, recommendations, and solutions in a way where they see it as progress.”

Be Progress

Everyday life is already a chaotic whirlwind of change. Even if someone says they need to make a change, what they’re really saying is “I need to find a way to make progress.” Be the progress people need. 

To be progress, remember:

  • Know your reason why 
  • Have a win on your side
  • Understand the 6 P’s 
  • Get to know people



Trust is a big factor in being progress for someone. If they don’t understand your motives, they aren’t going to trust you and won’t internalize the action.

Trust is the promise of progress.

Proactive Empathy

Empathy means, “the ability to identify with or understand another’s situation or feelings”. Instead of saying you provide great customer service, prove it. Be proactive with your empathy.

Dean gave the example of a donut shop owner waiting outside his shop in the rain. The shop owner had a big umbrella and was waiting to escort customers from their cars into his store.

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Dean’s work in creating and strengthening Progress-based work cultures has been endorsed by a who’s who of international business thought leaders including Ken Blanchard, author of THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER, who calls Dean’s work “a much-needed kick in the pants.” 

More information on Dean (including endorsement & video clips ) at

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