Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Leading through change

Change is more visible and rapid-fire as leaders jostle to protect their companies during tough times. They cut budgets, transfer resources, try new procedures, move people around, take things away, start using new terms, voice new visions and continually shake things up in hopes of doing what they have to do in order to weather the storm. Sometimes, their decisions make sense immediately. Sometimes, they don’t, Sometimes, things work out. Sometimes they don’t.

If you aren’t the rule-maker, your “buy-in” will be appreciated by those who are making all the change. Sometimes it is hard to offer that buy-in, especially if the change is radical or if you know in your gut that it won’t work. You may be able to help influence change by giving useful feedback that might steer things another way, but there will be times when you have to conform in order to be viewed as a valuable team player.

When it comes to change:

  • Your first job is to survive to fight another day. You might have the greatest ideas in the world, but it won’t matter if you wind up labeled a naysayer, trouble-maker or whiner. Choose the battles you can win, and fight them so you remain effective to fight again.
  • Don’t be too quick to dismiss other people and their wild ideas. There will be times when your own biases will stand in the way of your growth. Approach change with an open and receptive attitude so you can always be part of the solution – not the problem.
  • People wrongly assume that status quo implies a certain degree of security. There is no security in this world – just look at the number of people who banked on it and were laid off. Security comes from within, knowing you can face any obstacle and adapt to any change.
  • Even if you don’t like what is going on, find a way to build your own success within the new constructs. What can you contribute? How can you make yourself more valuable?

Always, always, always behave in a way that makes you viewed as part of the solution – not part of the problem.

  • When news of change first comes down, stifle your initial reaction. You may be reacting to the fact that you don’t like change in general, not to the actual change you are facing.
  • Do not complain about what is going on to your colleagues. This will tag you as an impediment to your leader’s success, and even if the change concept is misdirected, you won’t want to be seen as a trouble-maker.
  • If you are asked for input, give it – constructively. Don’t overdo it. Figure out what you can say that will actually make a difference, and voice your ideas in a way that creates an opportunity for you to take on more responsibility and help move things along.
  • If you disagree so completely with the change occurring around you, it may be time to pack up your talent and move on.
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