Change. It’s a simple word. But it packs so much emotion in it. There’s just something about change, that we usually don’t like. It’s uncomfortable. It’s new. And it’s challenging. It forces us to have to mix things up, learn new things, and do things we aren’t 100% confident in.
If we’re being honest, we kind of hate change. Right?
But as much as we dread and hate it, change is necessary. If we want to continue growing in our personal and professional lives, we have to continue to change. It’s pretty much a requirement. So, how do we do it.
Don’t change everything at once
Some leaders have a tendency to step into a new role and try to change everything about it. Employees usually hate this.
If you’re stepping into a new management role, take the time to get to know both the job and the people before you start switching everything around. You may want to put your stamp on the position and show immediately that you’re the right person for the job by bringing quick results, but if you change too much right out of the gate, you’re likely to lose the support of your team.
Talk to them. Find out what things are working. Ask them for their ideas on what could be improved and how it could be improved. Let them have a voice. Then collect all your data and analyze it to see what changes are important and necessary.
If you run in swinging and change everything, you’re not able to see as well what’s making the real difference in results. Think back to middle school science. When you’re doing an experiment, you can only switch one thing at a time to see what the real results are of that change. If you’re switching several things, you might not be able to tell what’s making the impact.
Know the things that shouldn’t change
While some change is necessary, not all change is. The key is learning to identify the difference.
For example, the values of your company shouldn’t change from day to day. The mission of your company shouldn’t change from one week to the next. The goals you’re working on should stay pretty consistent. Your high level of customer service shouldn’t change all the time. Customers like consistency and want to know what to expect, right?
There are some things that we need to keep consistent in life and business. One of your roles as a leader is determining what should change and what should stay the same.
Build a strong team around you
Most employees don’t enjoy the top-down approach when change is happening. If you’re making changes, find some team members that will get behind the changes that are coming and work as ambassadors to support them. This can have a positive influence on the team when their coworkers are supportive of the changes that are happening.
Learn to embrace being uncomfortable
Leadership isn’t comfortable. Leaders are the ones that are constantly pushing forward, discovering new paths, trying things they’ve never done, and taking the risks to see what’s going to work.
A few years ago, Darren wrote weeks of blogs all about his experiences of being uncomfortable as a leader. If you’re newer to the blog, you can jump back to the start of them on this page here and start reading forward from there (you’ll also get to see some cute pictures of his puppy.) It all started with Darren watching Aaron Rodgers on Shark Week (back when Packers fans still viewed him as a hero).
A large part of leadership development is learning how to step out of your comfort zone as you continue to grow into your role. And don’t worry, your role is going to continue growing so you’re never going to hit that level where you can settle into comfortable. It’s all part of leadership.
Find someone to help you make the right changes
When you’re in a leadership role, it’s easy to think that you need to have all the answers. This feels like a lot of pressure because you know you don’t have all the answers that everyone thinks you have. That’s OK. The most successful leaders work with mentors and coaches that help them continue to grow.
SPEARity business coaches in Milwaukee can help you make the changes you need to make in your leadership growth. They can help you identify the changes your business needs to make to continue growing and expanding. It might feel a little uncomfortable, but it’s so worth it when you start hitting those goals!