June 6, 2023

The Change Agents Mindset in Fast Company

The Change Agents Mindset:  the lens to develop leaders for the future

June 7th, 2023 by Aaron Bare

As our world becomes more complex, interconnected, and fast-paced, the need for change agents has never been greater.

In my 17+ years studying exponential leadership, I’ve interviewed some of the most influential leaders of our time. The book I published with my research produced one critical insight: exponential leaders—also known as change agents—are best studied through seven lenses. These lenses enable a glimpse into the change agent mindset and what it will take for each of us to lead in the future. As our world becomes more complex, interconnected, and fast-paced, the need for change agents has never been greater.


Change agents are leaders who drive transformation within organizations by challenging the status quo, embracing innovation, and empowering others to take risks. Show me an organization that thinks they don’t need a change agent and I’ll show you an organization that’s headed to their demise.

Change agents facilitate systemic transformation through a unique set of skills, mindset, and adaptability, enabling them to navigate and thrive in the face of uncertainty and constant change. They are not only disruptors, they are also connectors, bridging gaps and connecting the dots across disciplines, cultures, and generations to create new opportunities and solutions.


Undoubtedly, change agents are everything we all aspire to be. We know them when we see them: they walk into a room and change the entire room’s energy. Every organization needs a change agent, particularly as the pace of change accelerates—we must adapt or risk falling behind. By developing change agents within your organization, you can:

  • foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement
  • stay ahead of industry trends and disruptions
  • attract and retain top talent who are drawn to forward-thinking organizations
  • enhance organizational agility and resilience
  • create the future of the organization


All change agents possess seven universal lenses that shape their mindset, beliefs, and attitudes. Each lens of the change agents mindset directly relates to the different types of lenses we know exist in physics. Just like how light passes through a lens and changes, the energy you and your team put into your organization is transformed through these lenses of leadership. I’ve included questions and statements for leaders to make to facilitate this transformation for each lens.

Creativity (Diverging Lens)

Just as a diverging lens spreads light in various directions, the creativity lens encourages leaders to explore diverse ideas and think outside the box. A leader embracing this lens might say, “Let’s challenge the status quo and find innovative solutions that differentiate us from our competitors.”

Habits (Plano-Concave Lens)

Like the plano-concave lens that identifies problems and weaknesses, the habits lens urges leaders to analyze habits and routines to improve performance. A leader employing this lens might say, “Our daily habits shape our future success; let’s ensure they align with our long-term goals.”

Narrative (Equi-Concave Lens)

The equi-concave lens fosters collaboration and shared understanding, much like the narrative lens, which stresses the importance of a positive attitude and environment. A leader adopting this lens might say, “Our mindset and the stories we tell ourselves directly impact our performance; let’s create a culture of gratitude and resilience.”

Focus (Converging Lens)

The converging lens directs light toward a focal point, symbolizing the focus lens’s ability to prioritize and concentrate on essential tasks. A leader utilizing this lens might say, “By letting go of distractions, we can channel our energy into achieving our most critical objectives.”

Vision (Equi-Convex Lens)

An equi-convex lens inspires a visionary perspective, much like the vision lens that encourages leaders to set long-term goals and guide their teams toward success. A leader employing this lens might say, “Our journey is the reward; let’s maintain a clear vision of the future as we embark on this adventure together.”

Mindfulness (Double Concave Lens)

The double concave lens promotes flexibility and adaptability, reflecting the mindfulness lens’s emphasis on being present and embracing the current moment. A leader embracing this lens might say, “By staying grounded in the present, we can remain open to new experiences and opportunities.”

Energy (Double Convex Lens)

The double convex lens symbolizes strategic planning and execution, aligning with the energy lens’s focus on interconnectedness and informed decision-making. A leader adopting this lens might say, “Let’s consider the ripple effects of our actions on our organization and the world, and make choices that drive positive impact.”

By understanding the seven lenses of a change agents mindset, leaders can see how these lenses will better guide the energy in their organization. The future belongs to those who embrace change. Develop your own group of change agents and watch the transformation unfold. The full potential of your organization awaits.

Apply for the Change Agents Academy here. 

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