Leading change, navigating transition, seeking transformation
The ability to lead change has become a key leadership competency but this is only half the story. As a Purposed Leader you have to lead change, navigate transition and seek transformation. This post explores 3 keys to achieving successful change, transition and transformation.
Have you ever been incensed by something or moved to compassion, not just once but repeatedly? In those moments we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as these can be indications that we have heard the Father’s heart. The very things he mourns over and wants to change. When we are moved like this change is instantaneous. It is a change of heart.
The key to success in leading change is getting our head to align with our heart.
When I started this blog I spoke about the crisis of leadership that the world is experiencing. I was struck at a heart level of the need for this to change. However, it took me a little time to get my head to align with this heart change. getting our heads to align means taking a leap of faith – stepping out as Holy Spirit guides. A good example of the challenges of getting head and heart to align was Jonah. We must determine to align our head and heart and run towards God. To let Him show us how to lead the change he is initiating, or will we run from God’s calling like Jonah.
This week I moved from Turks and Caicos Islands back to Barbados. My husband and I have been away from Barbados for over two and a half years, first living in Montserrat and then moving to the Turks and Caicos Islands. We had not expected to return to Barbados so soon, if at all, especially, with such a turbulent economic climate. Moreover because our Caribbean travels have included our 3 dogs!
Despite the initial fear of change, or for some of us excitement – navigating transition is the next biggest hurdle. When you move from one country to another you have to learn to live in the new country, to navigate the transition. For example, when we moved from the U.K. to Spain to Barbados. We often reflected on how things were done in the U.K. ans sometimes complained! This was of no help at all because we were no-longer in the U.K. and so we had to focus on our new reality.
The second key for successful transition is to be forward-looking.
Transition requires leaving behind the old and navigating the new.
Remembering your passion and purpose during a change helps you to focus forward. This is a key principle:
“Jesus said, No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Jesus was talking about those who come to Christ should not look back seeking the things of the world. The principle equally applies that once we embark on a change we should not look back to the old but should keep focused on the new.
This is a process and can take quite a long-time, look at the children of Israel…40 years in the wilderness!
As a Purposed Leader you likely have a desire to see our world transformed through your sphere of influence. However, all too often we are focused on results, that is behaviour modification, rather than transformation that occurs I the heart and then changes behaviour.
Our Society is performance driven. Also, if like me, you are results oriented, this compounds our focus on behaviour, tangibles. However, God is looking for transformed hearts. I was leading a Government Transformation Programme which consisted of 8 projects. Both the organisation and the country were in great need of transformation and the people were longing to see their country restored. I wore myself out trying to make this happen by changing structures and systems. It was not until I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me through a good friend that I realised, all my striving was in vain because:
God doesn’t redeem structures but people
The third key for successful transformation is to focus on people, not structures or systems.
I understand the need for God’s people to ‘show up’ in every sphere in society. We also need to be able to speak truth to power but we cannot forget it is God who transforms, not us.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14).
We must join God in the change he’s initiating, not determine our own change.