Prepare yourself for the challenge of change
There is a wealth of research and wisdom on the techniques of navigating change. What is not easily found is advice on how to self-
- Get some distance: How are you at math? If you are like many, the memory of doing math homework is filled with frustration. No matter how many times the teacher went over the formula or covered the material it was very difficult to solve the problem and the harder you tried the further away the solution seemed. Did you ever have the experience of giving up, walking away and in a moment of rest you began to see things with greater clarity? Sometimes, getting away from the problem is all you need to see things differently. If you know change is necessary and you are fighting it, try getting away. A vacation, a mission trip, or sabbatical are all things that can provide some distance and perspective.
- Go the distance: Countless business leaders have already started marking the time till they sell or retire. Change requires perspective, and beginning to limit your vision will only provide a limited perspective. You will not navigate change until you can see beyond your own tenure in leadership. Be willing to envision a future that is beyond your leadership expectancy.
- Stop your persistence: Everybody knows the classic definition of insanity. The first time you initiated change it required that keep the course and demonstrated greater persistence than the forces of resistance. That tendency toward persistence may be the very thing keeping you from seeing and embracing change. Try quitting something. Your “stop doing” list is far more important than your “start doing” list.
- Try being inconsistent: The sign of brilliance is the ability to hold two conflicting truths in tension. We need to keep taxes low and increase revenue to eliminate debt. We are taught that it is a sign of weakness, a lack of conviction to play both sides against each other. While there is some truth to that, in our modern world of constant change we need to lean toward the left one day, and the right the next. You will not be able to embrace change until you can honestly contemplate that your historically held position may not be the whole truth. Try advocating for something that you had previously opposed.
Is it possible that you are the one reluctant to change? Let your passion for success and desire to lead others into an unknown future outweigh your desire for comfort.
Glenn Gutek is a speaker and CEO of Awake Consulting & Coaching, a firm that helps small businesses and organizations improve their leadership and business development through training, development and coaching. He is also the author of “Wide-Awake Leadership,” which teaches leaders how to overcome mediocrity though effective leadership. For more information, please visit http://www.awakeconsulting.com/ or contact Glenn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-901-4357.