What does it really mean to become a “Change Agent” as a woman physician? Tammie Chang, MD

We hear the words “Change Agent,” “Firestarter,” and “Leader,” seemingly everywhere. What do these words really mean?

To me, these phrases and words have always sounded lofty and grand, like we must be something or someone fancy. That someone else had to grant us this title, or a job, or position, before we could have the permission to call ourselves a “Leader.”

A Change Agent is simply a person who helps, enables, and brings about change. Any kind of change – and hopefully for good. A Leader is someone who brings about positive change and does so through the development and support of others. A Leader is a Change Agent on an even larger scale.

One of the greatest identity and mindset shifts we can make in our personal leadership journeys is to realize that all of us are already Change Agents and Leaders. And that every single one of us is just as important as that famous “Leader” who may command the stage or stand in front of a large room with a megaphone.

Each of us has an innate gift and nature. We entered this world as newborns full of our own life and gifts. Then we piled on childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and decades of adult life. As physicians, and women, we spent decades of our lives preparing for and training to become physicians. And once we were done with our training, our full and grueling lives continued. Now, when we look back decades later, we often wonder – “Who am I?”

What happened to the young, joyful, full of life young girls and women we once were?

This was certainly the case for Luisa and me. Young, full of hope and our deep calling to heal the sick, we dedicated and sacrificed our teens, 20s and 30s to becoming physicians. Only to realize in our 40s that we felt lost, exhausted, and empty, without our anchors and rudders. Our innate gifts as young girls buried and forgotten.

Why do I bring this up when talking about Change Agents? Because inside of each of us is already a Leader and a Change Agent. A natural gift and nature that is unlike that of any other human being on Earth. We each have a unique gift, and it’s through our special gift that we have the greatest potential to impact and serve others. It’s through our special innate gift that we bring the best of ourselves, without even trying.

What do you do naturally, without effort? Have you been told that you are “this” or “that” kind of person? What would your friends and loved ones say about you, if you weren’t in the room? Often, our innate strengths and gifts are in there. Like hidden gemstones. And through these, are how we can have the greatest capacity to become an Agent of Change and lead others.

You have a gift. A special gift. One that no one else has. And through your gift, you are a Change Agent, and a Leader. We’re here to help you rediscover why.

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