Three Priorities for Leading Change
By: Danielle Wingate
If we are honest, most people are uncomfortable with change. They have developed routines, patterns, and comfort. There is nothing wrong with this, we are all creatures of habit so essentially our teams have created what works for them in their time, with their perspective and their available resources. Now, for whatever reason, let’s say a system no longer works and it is time for a change and as the leader, you are steering the ship.
Like any good team or organization, you are probably moving at a high pace, all too quickly to make sharp turns, no matter how opportunistic, negative or detrimental behaviors or attitudes are. However, you can begin turning slowly with urgency with clear vision and communication. It is our job to paint the picture for our team and then hand them the brush to fill in the details.
When leading change, here are three things you can do:
1) Cast the vision early + often. This is your picture for your team, helping them “see” a different way, a different solution, a better tomorrow…
2) Give them a voice. As we have said, change can be challenging, give your team a safe place to vent, ask questions or share feelings. If they aren’t doing it with you, know they are doing it with others without you.
3) Be realistic + follow through. Are the steps needed to take place realistic with all in motion? Is the timeline achievable? How can you ensure follow through?
Realistic expectations are healthy to keep in this… think in terms of 6 months, one year or even three. It may seem like a daunting timeline, but you are turning a ship, already in motion. It will be amazing when it’s complete, but for now, we need to be intentional, strategic and patient as we navigate change with those around us who have a different lens, experiences and tools. Our team needs to know the extra effort to transition, adapt and learn new ways has a greater value and that we as leaders are going to see this “new way” to the end.
Leadership is a privilege that we are entrusted with, it won’t be easy, but done well, the value is immeasurable. Keep leading well!
Danielle is passionate about creating and supporting systems that improve the guest experience from beginning to end. She has been part of some amazing church staff teams and now spends her time supporting churches and leaders through consulting. She is the founder of Catalyst Women, an online space to share stories and invite women to be the change.
Danielle lives in Seattle with her husband Chris, two kids and giant schnauzer. She is a fan of any good local coffee shop and enjoys a vanilla latte with coconut milk!