An open letter to those experiencing unexpected change and what to do about it.
I’m sorry that you are having to go through change. Especially when you did not want it. You were happy and things were going well. You had made plans and now you are probably feeling like the rudder on your boat has been broken and you are being swept away.
Leaving the good to do the great
I realize you love the place you’ve been and you don’t know where you are going now. You made investments in people and the organization, but now you are moving towards the unknown.
We can never do the truly great things without leaving the good behind.
You have given unselfishly and asked little in return. Yet here we are; at a cross roads. As you reflect, I believe that you wouldn’t have done it any other way. You are a giver and that’s what givers do. They give and lead by example. What better way to show caring for others? Thank you for teaching me and being patient as you mentored me; many times without you knowing.
Facing the unknown
Are you afraid?
While the path before you is unknown today, as you have shared with me, you have faced worse circumstances, taken greater risks, and overcome every one.
How is this any different?
You have taught me that people like us do things like this . . . We are overcomers. I believe you and I believe in you.
Remember that inside you resides deep inner strength. It is there. I have seen it. You have helped many to find theirs. I have witnessed first-hand how you have accomplished remarkable things and your children tell stories about all you have overcome.
Don’t believe your story is done. No. Instead you have been given a tremendous gift. The opportunity to live in the next chapter!
We have discussed that their are others who don’t receive this blessing. Those that find their story expire while still in their early years and even some that don’t even get to take one breath.
Draw your own map
Not so with you. You have been equipped with all you need to succeed. While what you possess today and the opportunity ahead may look only dark, there is a light that burns in you and through you that will show you the way.
The exemplary leader leads from their character. We were taught that character is developed under pressure. And so we find ourselves again under construction.
Listen. You have not lost your way. Instead, it is through the change that is the way. The way planned out for you though you don’t recognize it today because you are just taking your first step.
First steps are the most difficult and scary. They can also be exciting. Remember your child’s first step? How about when they spoke your name the first time? The best things begin small. I encourage you to look for the small things now.
One step at a time
You, yourself are not small. Not small at all. You are courageous, strong, and able.
It is now time to take your next best step using the light you have and expect the remarkable. As you have told me, we never see how far we have come at the beginning of a journey.
I encourage you now to stay in your story as your next chapter unfolds. While I don’t know how it will turn out, I am excited to find out and am expecting an ending consistent with your character, your caring, and your leadership.
1. Stay in your story (live from your character)
2. Draw close to those who care about you
3. Open your eyes to new possibilities (look for the small)
4. Celebrate the small victories (they will get bigger)
5. Repeat steps 1-4
Shepherding: The art of becoming the leader others want to follow