Well, I was forced to change last week. I was at a hotel in downtown Milwaukee participating as a speaker-presenter on organizational health. For those of you who follow me, you know I’m a bit of a change agent (I’m just starting to understand Instagram, I know, I’m getting old). If it’s the right change, I’ll change. That was put to the test as I navigated my first no-floor-button elevator.
Can you believe it? Blasphemous! No floor buttons! When I arrived at the hotel, I told my colleague, Trevor, who arrived before me, to give me his room number and I’d meet him at the room. As I approached the elevator, something I’ve done thousands of times, something was different. I needed my key to log into a kiosk. I then had to enter my floor number so that the computer could tell me (yes, voice activated) the elevator assigned to me. Trevor had to come and get me, as I didn’t have a key, and I couldn’t join another elevator rider unless they happened to be on the same floor.
Whew, that was rough. Change is rough. It takes grit and determination to navigate through it. As soon as you think you are seeing clarity, a fog comes in. Welcome to change, welcome to leadership. So, how does one lead through change? The best thing you can do is roll with it and remind, remind and remind. The leader’s #1 job is to keep their people feeling safe. They must help drive the change through calm and accepting ways. There will be hiccups, and that’s ok. There will be failures and old ways that show themselves, and that’s ok. “What did we learn?” we’ll ask.
People can navigate change well when the leader is casual and calm about it. When I say casual, don’t mistake it for weakness. It’s actually much harder to control a negative thought than produce a positive one. The leader’s emotional response is really what the people are picking up. Is it positive energy or negative energy?
Positivity gives hope, and that’s the leader’s job. Welcome to leadership!
ACTION PLAN: We help leaders control their negative energy. If you want to know how, contact us.
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