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Leading Well Through Constant Change (#109)

The Confident Leader

Covid took us out. We couldn’t attend the wedding of a family friend. One of my kiddos asked, “why does everything have to change all the time? Can’t anything just be the same for once?” Unexpected change has disappointed us all. So, how are we managing? How are you doing as a leader?

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
— Woodrow Wilson (28th President of the United States)

This Week’s Edition

Change Management – the process of preparing oneself and others for the successful reaction to or implementation of change.

Clarify Your Thinking

“Robin, my sales team is furious. We offered a limited-edition product which sold out,” said Shawn, the CEO of a retail organization.

“That’s sounds like a good problem. High demand. What’s the issue?”  I asked.

“The team voiced concerns about using a “limited-edition” approach as a new sales technique. They hyped the product to their customers, only to fail to deliver to all who wanted the item. The sales team felt that we did not hear them, and they were embarrassed in front of their customers.”

Our coaching conversation revealed that Shawn’s team was tired of the change brought about by the past two years. Desperate to rely on something consistent, they cratered when their tried-and-true sales approach was changed and made them look bad.

Years ago, the book, Who Moved My Cheese, skillfully presented a fable that chronicles the reaction of four mice to the unexpected changes that deprive them of their “cheese.”  

The experience of the characters in that book was a great analogy to a leader’s typical reaction to change:

  • Inability to accept the true reality of the situation

  • Lack of communication around the change happening

  • Lack of trained skill in handling change

  • Resistance to the change already happening

These types of reactions dull a leader’s response time to the change that is already happening, plunging them further into doubt about the potential solution. 

Old Thinking: I hate change. 

New Thinking: The only thing constant in life is change. I better get with the program to figure out how to manage it.


Thoughts Lead to Actions

As an executive coach, I guide leaders through the change they experience.  This outside insight is valuable at this moment in time because the changes they are experiencing are not the traditional type, i.e. market changes, industry changes, etc… 

The change leaders face is changing the very nature in which they do business. I hear leaders constantly referring to the need to reinvent their business, not just evolve or adapt. Recently, one client adopted a new core value: disrupt ourselves before someone else does. This idea of proactively cannibalizing your own products and services is no longer a fringe concept, it’s a matter of survival.

Think about these five leadership skills you can employ to begin sharpening your change management approach:

  1. Perspective: What is the big picture? Where are you ultimately going?

  2. Decisiveness: What needs to be done right now? And, the next step?

  3. Inspiration: What is our “why” related to navigating the change?

  4. Leadership: Who needs to lead our management of the change?

  5. Communication: Who needs to be in the know and what do they need to know?

Shawn was flexible and listened to her team, allowing them space to vent. Later she began to ask them the questions offered above. She reported that this made them feel heard and ultimately engage in the process to change the organization to ensure its survival and thrival.

Boost Your Performance

One of our go-to resources for guiding leaders through change is the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. It reveals our approach to managing change and our blind spots. This week’s video recounts a leader’s powerful revelation. 

What’s Your Opinion?

Try the approach in this week’s newsletter and let me know what you learn at

If you are going to be a leader, you might as well be a good one. Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

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