Leading through a season of change is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Change can be hard on people. I have no magic bullet, but here are some things I’m trying to remember whenever I have to help establish a new sense of ‘normal’:
1) Over-communicate vision, mission and values.
In a season of change, it’s often hard to connect the dots between what’s getting done and why. Make sure everyone knows where you are going, how you’re going to get there, and who you want to be on the way.
2) Acknowledge the negative, accentuate the positive.
Casting vision for some new bit of vision or strategy without acknowledging the hardships or challenges at hand can come across as out of touch with reality. It’s important to communicate an honest and accurate assessment of where things are.
Identifying the negative brings perspective, and allows failures to accomplish their maximum instructional potential. But don’t live there. Communicate hopefully. Affirm ANY step that gets traction. Heck, affirm some that don’t, if they show creativity or character. Remember, you’re building more than just strategic momentum. You’re building people’s sense of purpose.
3) NEVER define yourself in the negative.
You’d never expect Coca-Cola to say “Hey – we’re a soda, and we’re NOT Pepsi!” But it is surprising how easy it is to define yourself by what you’re not – or not anymore, or whatever.
There is a short and fascinating list of things you ARE. Find that, and pound the table about it.
4) Be gracious.
Gratitude, courtesy and respect grease the skids for all sorts of things. For change to occur, you’re going to need flexible and creative people. People who feel loved and honored are more flexible and creative than those who don’t.
That’s what I can tell you. Feel free to add to my list.
Would love to hear your experiences!