7 Takeaways from Leading Through Change
A funny thing happened to me on the way to change. Actually, not so funny in the moment, but time has a way of helping you laugh at the missteps taken in leading change.
1. Three steps ahead, you’re a leader. Ten steps ahead, you’re a martyr.
It’s very easy to get further ahead of the people you are leading than you realize. That’s because the people you work with are largely volunteers who don’t have the time to focus as intensely on daily developments as you do. Update. Update. Update.
2. People are down on what they are not up on.
You can’t over-communicate during change. There is no such thing as “over communicating.”
3. There is no right pace for change.
Whatever pace of change you choose creates problems. You have to be able to live with the problems that your pace of change creates.
4. For every setback you face, God will give you a greater comeback.
There will be setbacks and unexpected obstacles along the way. Never put a period where God puts a comma. We all hit rough spots where we think it’s over. Sometimes when you think it’s over, God is just getting started. Courage is going from setback to setback without quitting. Persevere to breakthroughs.
5. Have a trusted friend stay abreast of social media comments about the change you are leading.
A significant change creates the potential of haters on social media. You are Nehemiah re-building the walls of Jerusalem. You can’t afford the distraction or emotional drain. Let a discerning ally read and respond to comments.
6. Differentiate between change and transition.
Change is the difference being made.
Transition is the emotional effects of the change.
People who buy into the change may experience intense emotional difficulty with the transition. Change involves loss and loss creates grief, and anger. Acknowledge the grief publicly. Own it. Embrace the grief and shepherd people through the grief.
7. Leading change never gets easier.
Be prepared to do the work for every change. After a few successful changes under your belt you will be tempted to cut corners or skip change steps thinking people will understand or cut you some slack. They won’t. The change you decide to cheat, is the change in which you’ll experience defeat.