In the age of change management and the flux of rapid change in the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult for leaders to understand the power of staying still.
Why? Leaders are either chasing the first 90 days, the first 100 days or the first full year result. Why? Leaders have to hit the ground running. Leaders have to create a burning platform and show that there is a new sheriff in town. Why? Leaders are accountable. And people expect immediate impact for any change in leadership. Why? Leaders need to even out the odds of failure and increase the odds of success. Why? The world is changing. We are in the “speed of thought” age. Change will happen, fast, whether you let it or not. It is better to be ahead of the curve and drive the change to suit your intended outcome.
Here are some thoughts for leaders.
Former CBS Anchor – Dan Rather, once engaged Mother Teresa on prayer and I refer to this beautiful exchange often.
Dan asked, “When you pray, what do you say to God?” Mother Teresa replied, “I don’t talk, I simply listen.” Believing he understood what she had just said, he then asked, “Ah, then what is it that God says to you when you pray?” Mother Teresa replied, “He also doesn’t talk. He also simply listens.” There followed a long silence , with Dan seeming a bit confused and not knowing what next to ask. Finally, Mother Teresa breaks the silence by saying, “If you can’t understand the meaning of what I’ve just said, I’m sorry, but there’s no way I can explain it any better”.
“What the pupil must learn, if he learns anything at all, is that the world will do most of the work for you, provided you cooperate with it by identifying how it really works and aligning with those realities. If we do not let the world teach us, it teaches us a lesson.” – Joseph Tussman.
“In economics, things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then they happen faster than you thought they could” – Rudiger Dornbusch.
You can replace “economics” with “life” and still be right.
The greatest challenge for a new leader is not a lack of crafting the future, but a lack of understanding the current situation before deciding on what to tweak. Understanding the people, magnitude, space, time and direction of the current situation is not a passive process. You have to be present. Actively listen to the people and observe your environment. Dismiss nothing. Ultimately, people and the environment announce why, what, when, where and who they are.
Peace, be still.
– Osasu Oviawe