When facing change, if you drag your feet long enough, sooner or later you should expect to get shocked.
Summer is upon us, a time of movement and motion. A season for us to stretch and unfold our cold and weary bones, to throw open our shutters and windows. A time to refresh and revitalize ourselves and shake off the cold from the winter months that have left us confined and sedentary for so long. To unload that draggy and dormant feeling that overcomes us during the winter months.
The cold has that effect on us. We tend to be less mobile, more lethargic and idle.
The winter tends to be our static season…
In much the same way, we as leaders have our own static seasons, seasons when growth is slow. Seasons when we drag our feet to change. Seasons when we find ourselves stagnant and status quo.
And very often, it is in these seasons of static that we get shocked when we least expect it.
Which is why, if we have learned anything from our changing world, we have learned that we can ill afford to remain either static or stagnant, as leaders or as organizations.
Our foundations are trembling and shaking underneath our very feet. Movement, motion and action are not just necessary, but vital. Much of what we have previously taken for granted sits precariously, often overwhelmed by the oncoming tsunami of this future that is racing towards us. Technology is disrupting our current circumstances at an alarming rate. We can almost stand by and watch as it engulfs much of what stands in its path.
The pace of our times is hectic. Rest is not always an option, and often leads to irrelevancy. We can choose to pretend the world hasn’t changed, isn’t changing, won’t change. We can hide our head in the sand, and like hitchhikers on a freeway, we will most likely find ourselves passed by and left behind.
Yet, the issue that many of us face, we don’t want to be the first one through the wall. And why should we? The risks are enormous and the outcomes are often dire. It is never easy to determine to do something that has never been done, too consider tackling the impossible, even if it is only within your own organization.
It requires a pioneer mindset.
And like many pioneers, you don’t always get to ride the wave with the group. To do this, you will very likely have to spend time as an outlier, swimming against the tide through deep and unknown waters.
Sometimes doing what has not been done before requires persevering through some dark and difficult days, days where no one believes in you, and at some points, not even believing in yourself. Which makes for an easy time to give in and give up. Which is maybe why it so few are able to really push through to the other side.
However, what becomes of us when we choose not to push through, to not serve as pioneers and catalysts of our own ideas?
We lose our momentum. We become cold. Static. We enter our winter, our season of static. We cling to what we’ve always known, what we’ve always done. We choose the known over the unknown. Instead of pushing through the noise and chaos that change invokes. Causing us to recoil, remain, status quo, stagnant.
Movement. Motion. Action. All will be necessary, necessary to keep us from our seasons of static.
We can no longer cling to what we’ve always known, what is safe.
If we continue to drag our feet in facing change and moving forward, if we choose to remain static and status quo, fixed and motionless, we must acknowledge, that in one way or another, we’re in for a big shock.