REALITY #21: Insightful leaders set an optimistic stage for change.

Change can happen in an instant, or it can happen slowly, as a series of fits and starts over time.   Change, a real constant, can be ignored or even denied for a time, but doing so seldom stops it or even slows it down.  Change is inevitable, and it can be messy.

Occasionally, change can be seen looming on a distant horizon.  Such instances offer the benefit of time to prepare for both the leader and the organization.  There are also times when change seemingly comes out of nowhere.  Like a freak weather shift, it catches everyone off guard.  Unexpected change is at best a surprise, a turn of good fortune, or a stroke of luck making a leader and an organization its beneficiaries.  At worst it’s a shock.  All hell breaks loose, and both leaders and their organizations are stunned and victimized quickly and thoroughly.  Perceptive leaders constantly keep an eye on the horizon in search of what’s coming next and in the hope of gaining some time to prepare.

Whether a surprise or a shock, change predictably requires some degree of purposeful and proportional adaptations and modifications.  Typically, change that comes to leaders and organizations can be addressed effectively and efficiently with reasonable adjustments and accommodations.  Then there are times when change requires a retooling, with a paradigm shift of nearly 180 degrees. Thus, seasoned leaders accept the reality that change, whether favorable or unfavorable, generally begets change.

Proactive leaders poise themselves, members of their leadership team, and their organization to accept change as an inevitable.  Acknowledging the certainty of change and resolving to steadfastly deal with it, are actionable attributes of their philosophical and operational mindsets.  Change is neither viewed as friend nor foe.  Instead, it’s seen as the wave upon which both challenges and opportunities most often arrive.   They acknowledge and work conscientiously to address the challenges, while always looking for and making the most of the opportunities.

Insightful leaders develop and maintain a positive personal and organizational mindset regarding change.

3 thoughts on “REALITY #21: Insightful leaders set an optimistic stage for change.

  1. This reminds me of “Leadership Pain” by Sam Chand. In it he writes, “By its very nature, leadership produces change, and change – even wonderful growth and progress – always involves at least a measure of confusion, loss, and resistance.” I think that we as humans instinctively avoid pain, so it takes a uniquely strong person to embrace the pain that is change.
    I appreciate when you say, “Acknowledging the certainty of change and resolving to steadfastly deal with it, are actionable attributes of their philosophical and operational mindsets. ” That reinforces the idea that not only can we shift our own mindsets, but acknowledging it and resolving to deal with it, instead of avoiding it, we also model and equip others to manage the pain that accompanies any kind of change.
    The convoluted and confusing mess that was/is 2020/2021 and rapidly approaching 2022, caused our educational systems a lot of pain, but through that pain we also learned. We learned more than many of us ever wanted to know about technology. We learned how vitally important schools are to our children and our communities. We learned the importance of social-emotional and mental health, and we learned the resiliency of our staff, our parents, and our students.

    1. Regardless of who, what, when or where, change often comes with its own measures of pain and challenge. Nonetheless, it also generally arrives with its own measures of opportunity and potential for real enduring growth. Dealing with the former, while making the most of the latter is the trick!

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