Change can suck.
Yep, that’s our opening line to a supposedly inspirational and positive blog. Are we crazy? Well yes, but we’re also experienced and realistic and in reality change can really, really, really suck. In fact change is so difficult, there’s an entire field of study and business called “change management” that is rapidly growing and making tons of money. All changes present challenges even when the changes are positive!
As a leader changes happen on the daily and often times you’re pivoting so much you feel more like a ballet dancer or a clumsy white guy hitting the dance floor. From making an in-the-moment change in your thinking to planning for a systemic culture change that could take months and includes the whole staff the leaders mantra becomes changes on changes on changes. Want some change with that? The truth is, leaders either get comfortable being in a constant state of flux or they break under the pressure of the ever evolving landscape of change. In our recent edition of Lit Literature we examined necessary shifts in leadership required for maximum growth. This week we’ll look at shifts on a more micro level in what we like to call pivots.
Want to know the secret to dying quickly as a leader? Stay the same.
Want to grow and slay when it comes to change? Here are 3 signs for knowing when it’s time to pivot:
You’re doing something and it’s not working:
This is the most obvious time to pivot. If something isn’t working, change it! This applies to your business, your life, your relationships etc. If you’re accepting bullsh*t in your world or even accepting mediocrity, it’s time for a pivot. As Tony Robbins says: You get what you tolerate. Leaders pivot, and do so quickly. It’s not always perfect but we are always making changes, even micro changes to see if we can make things better.
You’re doing something and it’s not working just right:
There’s a little bit of goldilocks happening here! If something is working but isn’t working exactly as you’d like, it may be time for a pivot. We don’t mean pulling the plug completely, but just like what is dead may never die (looking at you Greyjoys), what is implemented may never stay the same. We must always be making little pivots to improve.
On the other side of this iron coin, this means you can and are expected to launch things that are “good” and pivot them to “great” both in life and in business. Sometimes good has to be good enough to get started. We’ve coached far too many people who’ve been on the brink of starting their business-sometimes for years!- who simply won’t take the leap because things aren’t perfect. My logo isn’t right, I need funding, my parents are in town, I want to wait until I graduate, when the holidays are over, when summer starts etc. Newsflash: things will never be perfect and when you’re a leader for a team or for yourself, you will fail if you do not pivot.
Something outside of your control changes:
Sometimes you’re chugging along down your path like a good little blue engine and something comes in and completely derails your entire train. From a personal standpoint, this could be the loss of a loved one or a sudden change in career. From a business or leadership standpoint, there may be a new technology that completely changes your industry and you either change or die (*ahem* Blockbuster). John Maxwell says that great leaders see more and see before others, which means in business, you can’t just pivot in reaction to change, you have to pivot in anticipation of change.
Finally, change can suck, but it doesn’t have to. If you can identify when it’s time to pivot and do so in good timing you can use changes to your advantage. Remember- different isn’t always better but better is ALWAYS different.
P.S. We don’t just spew advice, we also take it, next week you’ll notice a branding change for our podcast and blog platform- pivoting from “Life Slices with Kay & Shi” to “Millennial Mentorship with Kay & Shi.” This name change and branding pivot fall under the “You’re doing something right and it’s not working just right” category. The Life Slices platform is the right thing to have for our brand, but the name is vague and doesn’t talk about who we serve or what we are doing. For those who’ve been with us since the beginning, we thank you for sticking with us as we continue to pivot and grow so that we can serve and add value to you and others like you!