Decisions get made. It's time to start.
The goal is clear. There is a picture of what the result should look like.
Now we just have to "do it."
.. .individually or organizationally.
Given that there are entire industries built around "doing it"--continuous improvement, change management, life coaching-- there must be some trick to that whole in between area. If you are involved in any kind of a change, here are 5 tips that you can take to the bank. (Ignoring them may put you in the collection agency).
1. Language matters.
"We're going to make a transition from___to____" impacts the brain a lot better than "We're going to change."
(Honestly, I don't want to change--do you? But I don't have any problem making a transition).
2. Friendships matter.
Be willing to talk and be willing to listen. When things change at home or in your family, you have coffee and conversation with friends. Why? It's cathartic. And you don't feel alone. Changes at work are no different.
3. Grace matters.
Transitions and change imply, by definition, that people are trying something for the first time. When your little child tried out her first steps and fell after the third one, you didn't offer a performance appraisal. You hugged her, made a big fuss, took a video, and called the grandparents.
Offer the same to adults who are trying something for the first time. Truth be told, they are feeling like kids at that moment.
Note: I'd avoid the hug and the video; it's your call on whether to phone the grandparents.
4. Accountability matters.
This isn't opposed to numbers 2 or 3. Accountability is an act of deep friendship. Friends don't let friends drive drunk. They also don't let friends do things--or avoid doing things--that are hurting their careers.
5. Small wins matter.
Make an example of anyone or any result that approximates the longer term ideal. Do it often.
If you wait until everyone gets it perfect, there won't be a celebration. There may not be a reason for it.
That's why continuous improvement is called continuous improvement.
Bonus for You For 2012
During the Christmas/New Year respite, I scrolled through the list of leadership and workplace blogs that I've subscribed to over the years. Some I read religiously, others I spot-check for information. Here are seven that I recommend for those who want a glimpse into the insights of writers who possess depth and breadth of experience and are engaging in their writing and subject matter. The numbers aren't rankings, simply an orderly way to present the information. These seven writers will add, exponentially, to your leadership and workplace savvy.
1. Michael Hyatt, Intentional Leadership. The Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers shares personal leadership insights, productivity tips, and and offers glimpses of his life, personal and professional. The model of transparency, authenticity, and a leaders of substance.
2. Steve Farber consistently reflects his commitment to his theme for Extreme Leadership. His message is simple, yet profound: "Truly great leaders in life become so because they cause others to become greater than themselves."
3. Managing Leadership is the engaging online presence of Jim Stroup whose military and academic credentials go a long way in explaining the depth of his thinking and writing. Jim is a must-read for those who want to delve into the facts and fantasies of modern management development.
4. Wally Bock is the force behind Three Star Leadership. Each week, Wally makes sure you are in touch with new and useful resources; helps readers look at what really works (and doesn't) when it comes to developing supervisors; and provides a free weekly newsletter (you just need to sign up) that will give you fascinating and surprising glimpses into the lives of people who have made a difference in our lives.
5. Dan McCarthy combines years of experience as a learning executive with Paychex with his current role as Director of Development Programs at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Great Leadership By Dan is a place where you can explore working models for talent and leadership development and interact with Dan (he's all about learning and his responses to comments are frequently mini-lessons unto themselves.
6. Mike Myatt focuses on his work with CEOs and, as a result, allows a glimpse into the daily challenges of the C-world. Mike is also enjoys engaging with his readers and trying out different ways to connect and keep others connected.
7. The term Remarkable Leadership points to just one person: Kevin Eikenberry. Leadership Coach and Author, online teacher, and social media maven, Kevin is the kind of of guy you want to meet after reading a few of his articles and listening to what he's up to on any given week. The place to do it all? Leadership & Learning.
You can't get off to a better "leadership learning" start in 2012 than with this gang. Enjoy!