Embrace the winds of change

For many people, change is an immensely scary thing. It forces them to decide between staying in the stagnant and sometimes uncomfortable present or moving toward what they hope will be a better future.

From a leadership perspective, change is made up of four P’s: pinpoint the pain, picture your purpose, prepare your people and prune the plant. Following these four steps encourages long-term change and helps prevent fallback.

When you pinpoint the pain, you are basically looking for a challenge. Searching for the area in your business or organization that needs the most help and deciding that you will designate that area for growth and improvement. There is always a weak link, and working toward making it stronger will be extremely beneficial in the long run.

Picturing your purpose means looking toward the future and deciding what the plan for your company is. Knowing what you want to happen and how you plan to get there is essential to success. Without a plan of action, there is no way to keep track of the goals you have set for yourself or your progress on reaching them.

The third step of change is to prepare your people. When you are leading a team, you must keep each and every one of them informed and updated on what is coming next. Encouraging change and looking at it in a positive light creates attitudes that accept and embrace change instead of rejecting it.

When a large team of people is involved, having even one person who refuses to weigh the benefits of change can affect the entire staff. Starting with the leaders of your organization, begin looking at change as a good thing. Eventually, that attitude will trickle down to everyone else.

Finally, you must prune the plant. When referring to an actual plant, pruning is mandatory for it to thrive. This process includes removing excess buds or branches, removing sick branches and removing dead branches.

Now, think of this concept from a business standpoint. Think of the team members whose roles are not necessary or helpful; they are considered the excess buds or branches. Think of the employee that doesn’t have a positive attitude when they come to work; they are a sick branch. Think of the one employee who refuses to give making changes a chance; they are considered a dead branch.

Although, as a leader, it may be difficult to remove these people, it is necessary for the long-term success and health of your business.

It’s understandable that change is scary for many people, but what is unacceptable is not working to overcome that fear. There has never been a company to not benefit from change at one point or another, and knowing and accepting it is a great source of comfort for those who may struggle with the thought of it.

Employers look for people who are open to go wherever the leaders of the business takes them. If you are a leader, being friends with change is a great superpower, but even if you are only an employee, accepting change is still a very valuable trait.

Although you may be perfectly comfortable right where you are, life is constantly changing. It is better to embrace it than to run away from it.