If you are a leader, it will happen to you. There is no question of "if," only "when." The valid question to ask is, "how?" How will we choose to navigate change?
In every organization, every relationship, and in every part of life, change occurs. Sometimes it is welcomed, sometimes it is not. Regardless, it occurs.
I was working with a team of seasoned leaders in a large global corporation. The dilemma before them was critical. The change they were facing would impact hundreds of lives.
They were struggling to define the new path forward. This is not unusual for executives, but many times the new direction is one based solely on numbers and not people. They knew all too well how poor leadership affects more than just the bottom line. It leaves damaging scars that don't go away easily.
In the midst of this strategic conversation, the team's leader (who has effectively navigated change throughout his career) stated, "we must be aggressive with our change while not being aggressive with our people." The entire team paused and considered this wise piece of advice. From that moment, this team understood the importance of taking care of the company's most valuable asset... its people.
While navigating change, the easiest or quickest solution is rarely the best choice. Knee-jerk reactions with little or no regard to those who are in the organization will have long term negative consequences on the overall health and vitality of the team. This type of experience leads to a damaging culture, and ultimately, lower effectiveness and productivity.
People understand that hard decisions are a part of business. How those decisions are made and executed define the character of those in charge.
Developing a plan to aggressively address change, while not aggressively harming your team, takes wisdom, discipline, and integrity. It was refreshing and inspiring to work with the above-mentioned team. They are leading well through difficult times, and they are making a difference!