Change Agent Insider: Ralph Masengill Jr.

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CHANGE AGENT INSIDER: RALPH MASENGILL JR.

Ralph Masengill Jr. has presented seminars and papers about quality and change all across the United States. He is an entrepreneur who has forty years of professional business experience. He founded his company, Masengill Marketing Associates, to help individuals and organizations plan for, and ultimately embrace, change. Masengill Marketing Associates has won more than 850 national and regional advertising and marketing awards.


A graduate of the University of Tennessee Ralph did post-graduate study using the Dr. Edwards Deming method of change and quality control. Masengill has authored two other books, Beat the Curve and Conquer Change and Win. Both books are about change.


Masengill and his wife, Dianne, live near the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee with their dogs, Beau and Charlie, and their cat, Bandit. When he isn’t working, Masengill enjoys, oil painting, woodworking, sailing, volunteering, and spending time with his four grown children and his seven grandchildren. Learn more at www.ConquerChangeandWin.


READ RALPH’S PERSONAL STORY “THE ONE GREAT CHANGE IN MY LIFE”

 

So what does it take to be a successful in the world of change management? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Ralph Masengill Jr. and read his answers to our 10 Change Agent Insider Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

1. What led you into the world of change and change management?
I was trying to enhance my chance of success in all my business ventures.  Doing that of course causes a great deal of change.  I knew I had to learn how to handle all the change I was going through and would go through as I carried out my business plan.  I began to study Change and I was hooked.  I found it extremely interesting and discovered that almost nobody knew anything about it.  I have been studying Change now for over 40 years and still get a kick out of sharing my knowledge about that fascinating subject to others.  Understanding Change can give any person a leg up in this world.

2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a change agent?
First, they must enjoy learning about change.  It does not have to be a passion, like it is for me, but that is helpful.  You must have good teaching methods and be a good speaker.  It is necessary to be a great listener.  You must like people and enjoy giving to others the things you know a lot about, and have an abundance of patience.  A great change agent is a good leader.  Chapter 15 in my book CONQUER CHANGE AND WIN has 32 attributes of a great change agent.  You must be a “JACK OF ALL TRADES AND A MASTER OF THEM ALL.” Is a direct quote from CONQUER CHANGE AND WIN.

3. Who or what inspires you?
An audience hungry for knowledge.  People who want to know more, turn me on.   Students that are full of enthusiasm and eager to learn.  Folks that are willing to give back with that being the only reward.  My heroes are Sir Winston Churchill and President Thomas Jefferson.  What great men and mentors they both are.

4. Describe your ideal client and audience.
A person or company that I personally enjoy being around.  They are folks with a positive attitude and they will give as well as take in any conversation.  They are good listeners who will ask great questions.  They are demanding but are reasonable and equitable in dealing with others,re not just my company.  They are people of high character and intelligence who enjoy serving others. 

A person or company that is in a strong financial position and is willing to invest in positive CALCULATED RISKING TAKING.

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the change management industry?
So many times over the years many of those who say they teach people about Change Management have never been through the process themselves in real life.  In order to teach Change Management well you MUST have practical experience.  Getting all your knowledge from others and books is just not good enough. 

Ever see someone try to coach and teach the game of football but has never plaid the game?  I do not think so.  It is the same with change management.

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career?
One of the first rules you learn when studying change is that it is always going on.  Change is constant.  Since we live in constant change 24 hours a day you would think we would be better at it than we are.   I had a problem with alcohol for 25 years.  That problem does not exist today and has not for over 40 years.  I have been married twice.  I raised four children from birth.  All are now grown with their own families and are doing quite well.  I was President and Chairman of the Board of a financial institution for about two decades before I started my marketing and public relations company, which I have had for 30 some years.  When I was at the University of Tennessee and up until the early eighties, my political party was the Democrat party.  As a Democrat I ran 5 Governors races in Tennessee and won three.  I was influential in US Senate races and traveled with Al Gore when he was in Tennessee.  I am now a conservative Republican, and have been influential in 3 races for governor of Tennessee and won all three races.  I am a supporter of both of our Republican Senators, Alexander and Corker. 

Understanding Change makes change easier to do.  You still must go through the pain change ALWAYS BRINGS, but it is not as severe.  It is a process that takes time.  You cannot take time out of the equation. 

7.What do you consider your biggest challenge?
My greatest challenge is working on NOT being so focused.  When I start on any project I get excited and full of enthusiasm and many times do not hear the phone ring or hear someone trying to tell me something.  Some people have a problem staying focused, mine is staying too totally focused on that one process or assignment.  Sometimes until an employee knows about my ability to be totally focused, they can wrongly see it as me ignoring them.

8.If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be?
Without any doubt, Winston Churchill.   Then Thomas Jefferson and finally for a little fun and spice, I would ask George Carlin to be there.  He is not only very funny but a thinker and he is intelligent.  I would love to have dinner with these mentors of mine any day, any where and any time.  It would be fantastic!

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?
I would become a University Teaching Professor.

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started as a change agent?
Learn to be an excellent listener, and memorize and totally believe in the truth of the 20-50-30 RULE.  That will put you on the fast track to being an effective TEACHER AND CHANGE AGENT.

 


About the Author:

Ralph Masengill Jr. is a best-selling author and award-winning advisor, coach, marketing expert, business consultant and public relations strategist. His latest, and ‘must-read’ book is “Conquer Change and Win: An Easy-to-Read Fun Book on the Serious Subject of Change.” www.ConquerChangeandWin.com

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