Remember that phrase, "wait before you make a change"? It's true almost all of the time. Sure, if you've hit rock bottom and things look bleak, making a life change is something that should be done ASAP. But for situations related to work, it's usually a good idea to be patient and then, only later, make a change. My kids like to watch reruns of "My Strange Addiction" and we saw an episode last week in which a woman was eating dirt. Now that's a good opportunity for life change and fast. For the rest of life's ordinary circumstances, waiting will do just fine.
I've lived through leaders who make changes too quickly. The result is a skeptical audience. People start to think that you have an agenda. They ask, "are we not good enough?" They wonder, "were things really that awful that a change was necessary?" These questions often come out in the parking lot or at the local grocery store. For the leader unfortunately, they rarely get to her desk.
So why wait to make a change? Here are three reasons:
1. Patience still is a virtue. If you can take the Survivor mantra to heart, your leadership will flourish: outwit, outlast, outplay. You want to be in this for the long haul. You can wait, really you can.
2. Waiting allows you to learn people first. Let's face it, people matter more than anything else in your organization. Get to know them, go out to lunch with them, serve them, love them. Then and only then, begin to make your changes.
3. Slow now leads to fast later. If you can fight the urge to make changes too quickly, you'll be able to make the changes that are needed but in the right time. Think of your role as playing out over five years instead of one. Think of it as ten years instead of five. How do you want to leave it when you leave as opposed to right now?
Ask those that I serve and they'll tell you that I haven't lived these principles out perfectly. I regret some changes that I made when I made them. Now I know to be patient and wait. God will eventually provide windows of opportunity but you need to wait on His timing in order to gain His blessing.
Question: which decision have you made that you had wished that you had waited to make?
*Photo courtesy of CK