It sounds impossible, yet the reality is most of the time when we decide to grow, move forward or expand, it’s like changing a tire on a vehicle while it’s still moving down the highway. In an organization, a leadership shift, the organization needs to continue day-to-day operations and still make the change.. Your scenario could be one of thousands that feel like you are changing a tire while still driving down the highway. Everyone has these times in life like, going back to college to get a degree while you still have bills to pay and a house to keep up. The organization I lead has experienced this over the last several years; as a result my team has gotten pretty good at it. Here are a few things we’ve learned to help you during a season in life that feels like you are changing a tire while still driving down the highway.
1. Be Patient
If you are anything like my team and me, we want changes to take place immediately and to see results immediately. However, in order for our leadership team to continue doing what we do to continue being successful while expanding and changing, it takes patience. In fact, we quickly learned that we needed to give ourselves more time to make transitions. Changes could be made quicker, but the cost is often too great. In our case as leaders, moving too quickly meant that those who worked in our organization, both paid and volunteer would not follow. This leads to the next lesson.
2. Create Buy In
Regardless of your scenario, your decision to make changes affect those around you. You can just make the change and let the chips fall where they will. However, it is much healthier for you and those you influence to create buy in. This can be a painful process for someone who just wants to get it done. However, the payoff is worth it. Creating buy in will not only keep those you are leading on board with the changes you are making, but also they will often begin championing the idea. I feel most successful as a leader when those I lead begin promoting a change that I’ve advocated as though it was their own idea and they begin to sell others on it. It takes more time and effort up front but saves time and energy in the end.
3. Prioritize For Balance
Making changes while still moving down the highway requires clear priorities to stay balanced. Knowing what can be put on the back burner and what needs to stay front and center is critical, because nothing will go as smooth or a quick as expected.
4. Stir The Passion
During a time of growth and change, it’s easy to become tired and weary. You will be tempted to become content with staying the same. You must have a clear vision that will continually stir the passion for where you are headed. Keep it before you speak it to those around you and let it keep the fire burning.
5. Express Greater Appreciation
During this time, you will need to express appreciation with those around you in a much greater way. Those who are helping you make the changes will be putting out a much greater effort. They will have to continue to do all they were doing to keep moving down the highway and at the same time invest new energy to make changes. Knowing they are investing so much more, they will need to feel appreciation to a much greater degree.
There is no getting around the fact that change and growth require a lot of work and energy. Only you can decide if it is worth it for you and your organization. Know this though; if you are not changing you are not growing. You can only coast one way – downhill. Change happens and change is necessary for you or your organization to be all that it could be – masterpiece living! If you want to reach your potential, if you want things to get better, you need to change. Don’t expect things to get better without making changes. And remember you will probably have to keep moving the car down the highway, or in our case as an organization we say “bus”, but it is possible, many have done it before you and many will do it after you. It’s all part of tapping into and releasing the potential that God has placed within you.