Leading change that renewsMay 18, 2021
Change that brings renewal requires wisdom
Anyone can make a change but change that renews requires wisdom. Why? Because healthy leaders guide ourselves and others from the old reality to the new. This is what William Bridges calls leading transition in his book Managing Transition. Whether it's a good change, necessary change, or unwelcome change you are leading through they all bring challenge. Wise leaders engage the three elements of grief, growth, & gain in order to lead change that brings renewal.
Element 1: Grief
Often, beginnings require endings and endings bring loss. With change comes the loss of routines, efficiency, and rhythms of connecting with people. As humans our response to loss is grief. We can't avoid it or turn it off. It has to be processed so as leaders we want to welcome grief but not wallow in it. We need to create safe spaces and model grieving to show that it's healthy. We also don't want to only grieve. Though change involves loss it also is an opportunity to grow.
Element 2: Growth
While change can be challenging it also brings growth in two ways. One, change opens us up to new potential. One way to access this potential is to experiment and innovate as part of the change process in order to find new and healthier ways of existing. Secondly, change develops our character. It develops our character by growing persistence in us but also by requiring us to reassess what is most important and identify what we want to hold onto.
Element 3: Gain
While change does involve loss there are also things to be gained. We gain new relationships, new ways of doing things, as well as gain from things we no longer have to carry. As humans, it's often easier for us to see the negative so we need to pay attention to and celebrate what we are gaining both incrementally and as a part of the new reality that waits for us.
To lead change that renews we need to wisely engage the elements of grief, growth, and gain so that together we can move from our old reality to the new!
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