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Successfully Navigating Change

“Change initiatives fail because humans are hardwired to return to what’s worked for us in the past.”
— Erika Andersen

Author Jeff Boss says, “A leader’s role varies at different stages in the game. If you’re cognizant of what to forget, what to adopt, and what to adapt as the next phase approaches, you’re already ahead of the game.” (1)

Watch Your Self-Talk

It is surprising how many gifted leaders and managers with proven track records can sometimes doubt the extent of their abilities to navigate change.

Negative self-talk will easily sow seeds of self-doubt, placing an artificial ceiling on potential accomplishments. Tolerating negative thinking stunts our creativity both in thoughts and natural skill sets.

Preparing Your People for the Wins

“Amateurs practice till they get it right; professionals practice till they can’t get it wrong.” (Quote has been attributed to many people)

The greatest coaches in the world of sports are those who develop a victory mindset, which leads to a culture of winning. A culture of winning is produced in the mind and practiced until that particular routine is second nature, the same holds true in business.

Assessing change and anticipating possible responses from our people prepares us to chart a course that’ll play to their strengths. Training our people to be relentless in developing their skills causes the above quote to become a reality in their lives.

  • Knowing that change comes to every organization and abiding by the Law of Buy-in, allows us the highest probability of helping our people to accept it moving forward.

  • Preparing our teams to exercise the flexibility to adapt to challenges on the fly is a confidence builder. Keep reminding them of your confidence in them and how proud you are to have them as your team.

  • Achieving high-quality outcomes requires the best possible description of the current reality and the necessary team effort to achieve the desired results.

Adaptability: Becoming a change agent

Like most leaders in seasons of change, I have had to shift gears, moving away from the familiar to something entirely new.

Revisiting what has always worked and uncovering how much of it I can utilize provided what I needed moving forward.

In Keith Keating’s article he observes 3 traits of adaptable leaders, I’ve included an excerpt here, (follow link in End Notes to read his article in its entirety.

“1. Adaptable Leaders Have Flexible Ways of Thinking

For leaders, adaptability is about having ready access to different ways of thinking, enabling leaders to shift and experiment as things change.

2. Adaptable Leaders Plan Ahead

Adaptable leaders understand that while an end goal and a vision are necessary, the path that takes them there needs to be flexible. The practice of adaptive leadership means having multiple plans for reaching said goals.

3. Adaptable Leaders Are Curious

Curiosity helps to open the mind, enable growth, encourages new ideas, and is a fundamental principle of adaptive leadership.

Curiosity generates questions that wield problem-solving, leading to finding results. Adaptable leaders use activities such as the following to help develop their curiosity.

  • Ask questions, listen, and observe

  • Be inquisitive

  • Think creatively” (2)

In Closing, Author Max DuPree said “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” Navigating change always changes us in the long run. The ultimate reward for successfully navigating change is who we become in the process.

End Notes

(1) Navigating Chaos: How To Find Certainty In Uncertain Situations by Jeff Boss

(2) 3 Traits of Adaptable Leaders By Keith Keating

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***

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