A zen moment …
I was looking at the autumn leaves on the trees in my yard, appreciating how they don’t all turn at once. The trees still have some green leaves, some in phases of change, and others fully transitioned to red, orange, and yellow.
Some are already on the ground.
It occurred to me that nature is illustrating a useful change management … and leadership … principle.
For the trees and their summer leaves, winter looms. They leaves must turn and fall.
It’s the same for us.
Change is often inevitable. In those cases, resistance is futile.
Leaders see what’s coming and make the leap first, while the rest of us make our transitions at our own pace. And then, there are the stragglers … the resistors … those who hang on tenaciously to what has been.
But think about it. What are those of us who resist clinging to?
Something that no longer works … something that’s no longer viable … something that no longer supports us.
There’s no freedom, joy, or success to be had in that.
That’s not to say there aren’t times when it makes sense to resist change. There are. But what I’m talking about here is moving on when it’s clearly time to move on.
When it’s time to let go of the old and undergo some kind of metamorphosis, those who make the transition earlier … the leaders …tend to have an easier time with it and get comfortable with the new a lot faster.
Yeah, there’s more to leadership than the ability to adapt quickly and seamlessly to change, but in many ways, getting ahead of the curve is the very definition of leadership.
And doesn’t that sound better than resisting and clinging?
So … is there some area in your life or work where you’re clinging and resisting?
Assuming there is, ask yourself, “Why am I not letting go, accepting the change, and moving forward?” Indeed, “Why am I not embracing the change?”
Look inside. Understanding why you’re having trouble accepting and embracing it is the first step in being able to accept and embrace it.
The next step is to look at the benefits of the new and do some positive imagining. See the good in it. See the exciting in it.
Hey, if it’s what you’re getting regardless, you might as well benefit from it and enjoy it!
In the end, the leaf that clings cannot hold on.
In the end, change forces us to let go and adapt to the new. It’s a fact of life, as natural as changing … and falling … leaves.
Our job is to find the wherewithal to face our transitions in life and at work with courage, grace, and equanimity … and to lead the way when we’re able.