Three Ways to Avoid Blowing Up Your Organization in a Transition


Early in our married life, my family moved a lot, six times in six years to be exact. You learn a great deal about how to transition. Transitions are hard on you; they are hard on the family, and they are hard on organizations. Here are tips to help you transition well. Now, these tips work for organizations, but they are also good general principles for personal change.

  1. Establish an organizational rhythm

Whenever you come into an organization if you are the leader of that group you are a significant disruption to the status quo. You have radically altered the norm. Your presence as a new leader creates uncertainty and doubt. One way to ease the tension is to establish stability. You can do this by starting a consistent pattern. Keep, the rhythms already in place. Developing a beat will help ease the tensions of your co-workers. It allows people on the team to know what to expect from you and communicate those expectations early and often. No one wants to guess what the leader is thinking.

  1. Invest time developing relationships

Before you can lead people anywhere, you have to earn their trust and their hearts. First, they follow you because of your position. That is the lowest level of leadership. John Maxwell defines this first level of leadership. “This is the lowest level of leadership—the entry level. People who make it only to Level 1 may be bosses, but they are never leaders. They have subordinates, not team members. They rely on rules, regulations, policies, and organization charts to control their people.”

If as a leader you don’t take the time to invest in relationships you will struggle to get above this lowest level of lead. You earn your peoples trust and loyalty, and they will follow you because they believe in you as a leader. Then your team will feel in your vision. As the new guy, it falls on you to go the extra mile in making the authentic relationship connections.

  1. Make it a safe place for the hard conversations.

To be fair on this one, it is more of a personal requirement. Deep in the core of who I am, I value authenticity. I don’t like fake people nor fake relationships. I have a small circle of real friends, and I demand and offer hard honest conversations. The disadvantage of our social media generation is that we can fake authentic relationships. I purged my Facebook list because I had over “two thousand friends.” I had to look at their pictures to know who they were and even then, it didn’t help. When it comes to the work environment I want to be in a place where we can have those tough conversations. It is in those moments we can both grow. How many people do you want to tell that something they do or don’t do is affecting either your relationship or the health and production of the organization? You won’t have that hard conversation, and the relationship suffers, the ministry suffers.

Following these simple tips can make your transition go a little more smoothly.  It is important for you to remember change is an opportunity to reset.  Learn from past mistakes and past success.

Because change is always tricky to navigate here are more posts on leading change:

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