Change Is Good! Do You Really Believe That, Fake It ‘Til You Make It, or Avoid it Like the Plague?

AGH! I thought in a moment of panic last night I arrived for my guitar lesson without my song book.

As I walked into the studio and realized the song book was not with me I initially freaked out.

I was worrying what we were going to do without being able to follow the chords and lyrics for the 3 songs my instructor and I have been diligently rehearsing and refining so I can be “ready” to play at an open mic night this fall without embarrassing myself or my wife.

We both knew the 3 songs relatively well enough to practice them, but we also found early on that the specific lyrics at certain stages of the songs just slipped our minds and we just mumbled the words.

After a couple of lame attempts, my instructor came up with an idea.

He turned around, went into a folder with his stash of songs and began pulling out ones he thought I’d like and could play based on the chords I know.

He wanted me to start learning a new song right then and there!

Now that was a “change” I was not expecting!

This may not sound like a big deal but I had invested an awful lot of time learning the other 3 songs I was refining to be ready for the big stage. I really didn’t want to lose focus on my growth and progress.

But, I also realized in that moment that my options were limited, to 3:

  1. I could try to influence the situation by asking my instructor to go upstairs and print the lyrics and chord progression for the 3 songs we were working on…
  2. I could accept the situation and embrace working on a new song with some new chords, and new chord progression I had never played before…or…
  3. I could remove myself from the situation, pay for my scheduled lesson and just go home and practice on my own.

I chose #2. To accept the situation, embrace the challenge and be excited to learn something new.

It was a great experience, but…

It was harder. It was more challenging, it was frustrating and it was definitely not nearly as much fun and rewarding. Initially.

I know that the change was good for me. It allowed me to stretch my comfort zone, it allowed me to learn something new and it got me out of a rut that I was in just trying to make the 3 songs I was working on perfect.

That’s what change is all about.

I was inspired to write this post from an e-mail I received through my website from someone’s who is struggling with communicating to employees in a way that will get them to buy-into necessary change taking place at his agency.

Despite change being the only constant in life, we human beings seem to always initially react negatively to it, even if its just for an instant while we can process what the change means and how it will affect us.

Too many of us stay in a place of resistance.

Often, staying in that place of resistance is enabled by organizational leaders because they don’t know how to communicate to obtain for buy-in from their people.

My guitar lesson example is the perfect metaphor for any organizational change. As I wrote above, I had 3 choices, but I also had only a brief minute or two to make my choice. I didn’t want to waste my lesson fee so I went with the flow.

I find that organizational leaders are often as fearful of communicating the change as their people are buying into the change.

This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A lack of confidence in communicating by the leader can kill any chance at buy-in from those that need to.

As a former mentor of mine used to say, “hmmm, something to think about?”

This lack of confidence comes from a lack of preparation and evaluating the change, its potential positive and negative impact and designing a way to communicate the change globally and individually to those that are going to be affected.

That’s one of the reasons I created The Confident Leaders Training Camp. The CLTC, as it is called, will begin the process for leaders to gain confidence in their leadership style and how they communicate. We just completed the inaugural session and will be offering it again this fall.

If you’d like to be considered for this fall’s Confident Leaders’ Training Camp you can go here to apply for a Strategy Session so together we can determine if you are a good fit to get the most out of the experience.

Have a great weekend!