Leading Change

We often talk about leading in a time of change. If you are a leader, you should always be in a time of doing something new. Newton’s first law says that an object in motion will continue to be in motion unless another force acts on it. You know that there are always other forces moving on the work that you are trying to do. A thousand priorities are pulling you in different directions. It is your job as a leader to make sure that forces pulling on your organization don’t pull you in the wrong direction. If you don’t keep pushing your vision forward, then it will start slipping backwards. Change, in the form of slowing momentum, will happen to you. As a leader, you will want to push things forward

As a leader, you are required to be the first one to lean into the change. How you act when life is changing is going to affect the way that your team operates when there is change. If you are nervous about change, your team will reflect the same sentiments. If you are excited about opportunities, your team will also be enthusiastic.

We often think about change as if we have a chance to control when it might happen. Assuming that you can control whether change happens is an untrue view. Change is happening all the time. You don’t have an opportunity to slow it down, or to avoid change for a while. You can manage how you are going to address change. You might address changes from growing older by more exercise, sleep, and eating better. You might address changes in the world by creating a better business model, focusing on a new target customer, or developing a new service.

Change is not a lion to be tamed. You will never be able to put change into a cage and walk away. Change is like the weather. The wind and rain will slowly wear down the exterior of your house. You can ignore the weather and eventually your house will look worse for the wear. If you embrace that the weather happens you will plan to renew your siding one year, and your roof on another, and make adjustments to the downspouts on a third.

Don’t fear or ignore change. As a leader, you will plan for it. Your leadership will help others feel less friction as they move through the change that will inevitably come.