“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
You’ve heard it said that “Two things are certain in life: Death and Taxes.” I think we can add a third item to the list: “Change.” Change is inevitable. If you are trying to grow your organization, there is no way to avoid dealing with change. How you navigate change will in turn change your future one way or the other.
There are basically two types of change that we have to navigate as leaders. The first is change that happens to us. We didn’t ask for it. It just happened and we need to respond and adapt to the change. The second type of change is the change we initiate personally or within our organization. This is a change in plans that affect either direction, goals, systems or structure within our organization. Whether or not you are responding to change or initiating change, there are some key guiding principles to consider as you navigate uncertainty of change as a leader. Solomon gave this advice:
Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. (Proverbs 2:3-4 NLT)
The three common mistakes that leaders make when facing tough choices are: acting too quickly, settling for limited options, and not seeking the right counsel. You need patience, wisdom, and humility as you seek for clear insight and understanding to successfully navigate the challenges of change.
I like watching a seasoned quarterback leading a two-minute offense to try and win the game. The clock is ticking, but he is cool and collected. He faces the challenge with a sense of urgency, but he doesn’t panic. The same kind of patient focus and intentionality is needed when navigating change. Be keenly aware of how much time you have and use it wisely. Remain confident while navigating change. As a leader, you must always face the brutal facts of reality, and at the same time, keep hope alive.
Never settle for limited options. As leaders, we often have an internal pressure that makes us feel like they should have all the answers for every problem. The truth is, you probably do have an answer, but it may not be your best option. Seek wise counsel and advice from other leaders like you would look for hidden treasure. You will gain a 360 degree perspective and significantly increase your pool of viable options. The added benefit of involving your team is that they will feel valued, listened to, and they will gain more buy-in in the final plan. When you seek advice, you make yourself accountable to others because you have included them in the process. Accountability is a good thing.
You will most likely have to navigate change today. Let me encourage you to begin this day, and every day, by prayerfully seeking God’s direction and wisdom in your leadership. Always remember, His purpose will prevail! Change is coming. Get ready.