Dealing With Different … 6 Ways to Embrace Change

Part 1: Choose Courage Over Comfort

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take our change topic to another level by speaking at an annual retreat for a department whose company just restructured. The topic? You guessed it … Change.

Change Retreat

Can we all just agree … things are changing at blur speed?

Once we accept the fact that change is inevitable and make the decision to pursue growth (see yesterday’s post), we have two choices. We can either lean in or we can resist and be left behind.

I’m no different from anyone else. For me, change is hard. I like the status quo as much as the next guy … except I don’t. If the next guy is a leader he knows the status quo will ultimately suck the soul out of him and the people he leads.

Through the years I have experienced thousands of changes. I am finally learning to look forward to most of them. While I still resist occasionally, I have identified six steps to serve as my filter whenever I find myself “dealing with different.” Over the next few days I will share them with you. I encourage you to incorporate them into your leadership. I’m confident they will help you lean in to change.

Step 1 … Choose Courage over Comfort – When I started my company to encourage and equip leaders, the transition took longer than it should have because fear was involved. I heard voices. Mostly my own … Randy, how can you walk away from your income when you have three kids in college and one a year away? What about your health insurance? What if no one will hire you to speak to their organization or team? What if no one is looking for a leadership coach? What if you fail?

Thankfully my wife believed in and encouraged me, and my four daughters called me a sissy. “Dad you keep telling everyone else to live in their sweet spot. You and Uncle Danno even wrote a book on it. It looks to us like you are a scaredy-cat, sissy-chicken.”

Ouch! A man can only take so much from his little women.

Ultimately I decided to go for it. I knew if I didn’t I would one day be an old man full of disappointment and regret. Admittedly, if I had failed I would have been disappointed that I didn’t have what it takes. But I knew I wouldn’t have any regret.

Without courage I had lost my edge as a leader. Edge is a big deal. Without it, you limit your influence. I had conversations with God about my angst. I kept finding places in Scripture where He commands His followers to be courageous. I couldn’t find a single admonishment toward comfort.

When I chose courage and made the change it was like the wind returned to my sails. The support was overwhelming. I discovered it was even bigger than my doubts had been. There was plenty of work with my name on it. Provision was beyond what I could have ever dreamed. And My daughters were my biggest fans. Imagine that!

I told my wife, “This is unbelievable.” She reminded me, as she often does, “No this is believable. This is what you have prayed and prepared for.”

So how about you? Are you comfortable? I hope not. Because if you are, you are most likely miserable. If today finds you in a place where you know you need to make a change, resist the resistance … choose courage over comfort.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

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I’ll share a second step to help you embrace change in my next post.

Are You Still Looking for Your Cheese?

In his book, Who Moved My Cheese, Dr. Spencer Johnson reminds readers that change is constant. 

A few weeks ago I had a phone conversation with a leader I am coaching. During our chat he made reference to Johnson’s premise of change, telling me he had read the book several years ago at the suggestion of his supervisor. Since reading it he has attempted to embrace change, seeking out ways to improve his leadership. My level of respect for this guy went through the roof.

Great Leaders GrowToo often, those in charge resist change refusing to think outside the box, especially when it comes to personal growth. They assume that since they are in charge there is little left to learn. Wrong! Leaders are learners. As my friend Mark Miller reminded us in his book with Ken Blanchard, “Great Leaders Grow.” 

In the case of the guy I’m coaching, he not only believes in change, he’s doing something about it. To start with, he read a book and allowed it to change his thinking. Now, he is opening himself up to coaching, attempting to reach his full potential. Next, we created a development plan to help him gain much needed traction in his pursuit of climbing to a new level of leadership. 

As you look at your life, are you open to change? Do you have a track record of growth? Is there someone who is stretching your thinking? Do you have a development plan?

If today finds you spinning like a mouse on a wheel hoping your cheese will show up, I encourage you to step off and hop on the change train. It is the vehicle to a better you. 

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Why are so many leader resistant to change?

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All Aboard the Change Train

The change train has left the station. The plates are shifting. You are not in Kansas anymore. Say it however you will, but deal with the reality, the world you once knew is history.

According to former Firefox CEO Gary Kovacs, the current generation of young people spends an average of eight hours online every day. Typical teens send over 3300 text messages every month. Stanford University recently taught an online class with 160,000 students attending.

Can you say change? This week it will be our subject.

As a leader are you embracing change or resisting it? Take a look at your systems and methods. What steps have you taken to ensure you are staying relevant in a changing world?

While your message may never change, your methods better change constantly.

Pick one area of your work, this week, and really assess its effectiveness. Make a list of ideas for possible changes and then try something new. You have permission. All you need is action.

All aboard the change train.

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

What is the biggest change you have seen in your field over the past 5 years?

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Distance to Empty … Part 4

Are You Fit to Lead?

This week we have been looking at the gauges that measure the different areas of the life of a leader.

Distance to Empty GaugeA leader can achieve balance in his spiritual, relational, and emotional life and yet still not be effective. How? If he fails to give attention to his physical gauge.

Your body is a vital part of your overall success as a leader. What does your physical gauge say? Or better yet, what do the bathroom scales say? They don’t lie.

When looking at your level of fitness there are three important areas and some “gauge” questions to consider.

1. Exercise. Are you committed to cardiovascular fitness 4-5 times each week? Do you do any strength training and stretching on a consistent basis?

2. Nutrition. How is your diet? Do you eat a lot of processed and packaged foods, or do fruits and vegetables fill your plate? Are you addicted to sugar and caffeine?

3. Rest. Do you have a consistent pattern of sleep, or are you burning the candle at both ends? Do you get 7-8 hours of good rest every night?

Focus in the areas of exercise, nutrition, and rest, is required if you want to have longevity as a leader.

Pay attention to your physical gauge and respond to what it is saying before it is too late. Others are depending on you to be “fit to lead.”

Remember, “The pain of discipline is less than the pain of regret.”

Leadership Begins at Home,

Randy

Which of the 3 areas, exercise, nutrition, or rest, do you need to give the most attention to in the coming week?

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