The Rhythms of Change

As leaders we typically have little problem with change because we’re the one’s initiating it.  Change is frequently needed, often difficult and always an adjustment. A big part of a leaders job is to initiate change.  And as leaders of change we’re not always sensitive to the impact that it has on the lives of those around us.  When we’re the initiators of change we have the added benefit of processing the change in advance.  So when it comes we’ve made the emotional, mental and spiritual adjustments that ready us for the new normal.

But those we lead don’t always get the privilege of extended process time. That’s why they often fight, resist and rebel.  Change requires adjustment because it produces a shift in our rhythms.  And shifts in our rhythms make us feel uncomfortable and insecure. For example when you step off dry land onto a boat, you’re keenly aware of the rolling sensation of being on water. At first you may feel unsure of your footing but in time you make the mental and physical adjustments and the floating sensation becomes your new normal.

I really began to understand this on a greater level when my family and I recently experienced a major change.  We moved from Charleston, SC to Atlanta, GA.  While this change has been very positive, I’ve experiencing the impact of a changing rhythm of life.  Twelve weeks ago I left one job and took a new one.  I sold my old house and bought a new one.  I left old familiar friends and developing new ones.  I abandoned my PC and started using a Mac.  I gave up my Blackberry and bought an Iphone.  I gave away my old car and bought a new car. I now work on different projects, have a different team, work on a different set of goals, adjust to a new work culture, maintain a different schedule, the list could go on and on.  Everything felt so different…but I’m gradually getting my “sea legs” and these changes are quickly becoming my new normal.  It’s good for me as a leader to experience the impact of change; maybe it will help me lead people through the rhythms of change better in the future.

Are you experiencing frustrations because of recent changes?  If so be patient with yourself as you find the  rhythms of your new normal.

Managing Change

A few weeks ago we asked Ray Snyder, Professor of Business and Ethics at Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, to speak at our Seacoast Leaders Conference. Ray has taught more than 125,000 executives and managers in ten nations as a Senior Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies.  He is passionate about his faith, his family and helping other become better leaders.  Visit Ray’s website at  He is the author of The Business of Families. 

The theme of our conference was Casting Vision.  We asked Ray to address vision casting as a business leader.  Vision always requires change so Ray talked to us about identifying and navigating change. Watch this short video then scroll below for actions steps to further your learning.

Leadership Conference – 2010 – Ray Snyder from Seacoast Church on Vimeo.


1.  Watch Ray’s video and take notes on the key concepts.

Managing the ______________
Understand there will always be a present and future curve to our lives and things inevitably will change.

Know how to train ____________
Understand the influence you have as a leader and strive to have a positive impact on people’s confidence.

How do we cause _______________
Understand that change always involves time and difficulty.   The wise leader takes this into consideration as he navigates change.

2. Set aside an hour and think about the organizational changes you are trying to make.  Ask yourself the following questions:  How is the change going?  What resistance am I getting?  Who are the early adapators and what excites them about the change?  Who are those that are slow to recieve the change?  What are their fears, concerns or worries?  What can I do as a leader to address these?  How well have I communicated in the midst of this change?  What adjustments do I need to make?

3.  Read the article How Successful People Think, by John Maxwell.  Print out the six step process, keep it out on your desk for a whole week and practice the process of right thinking.  ClICK HERE FOR ARTICLE.

4.  Read one of the following books about Change: