I work at a church where change is about as common as the sunrise. Change brings mixed emotions, but it is a natural reality in a growing organization. Growth and change often go hand in hand. When you experience some level of growth you make changes in order to sustain that growth.
We have a number of locally owned restaurants in the area that have seen tremendous growth in their customer base. The result of that has been a change to their building space to better accommodate the growth.
My family is going through a growth season as we transition from being a family of 3 to a family of 4. Growth for our family means a change to our schedule, our finances and our habits.
My church is a growing church. In a growing organization there are constantly people coming in to freshly join the team, others who transition into new roles that better fit their gifting and then some who are developed and sent out to go make an impact in a new territory.
In a season of change I have watched many of the people I work alongside (both in staff and volunteer capacities) experience a change in leadership. They have a new leader, a different coach or a new boss. I have experienced that change myself a number of times over the years.
What do you do when your boss or coach, your leader or supervisor change? How do you lead and serve in the midst of the change?
When you experience a leadership transition here are 4 decisions I would encourage you to make:
- Give them the benefit of the doubt – go ahead assume a posture of trust. No one is perfect – if you go looking for imperfections in your new leader you will find them, if you search for the good qualities they possess you will find them.
- Use your influence to help them settle into the role – You have some level of influence, and that influence is ultimately not yours. Be a team player by using your influence to help your new boss gain creditability and relationships. They have to win it long term, but your influence can help open doors.
- Lean in instead of pulling back – it would be easy to take the posture of “sit, wait and see what happens.” The best thing you can do for your leader, your team and your organization is keep pressing forward until you are given new direction.
- Be the reason they win, not the reason they lose – Ultimately a new boss or leader cannot win without the positive effort from the team they lead. Decide that you want your new boss or leader to win – because when they win, you win.
Those are the 4 decisions that come to my mind. What other suggestions would you add for someone who has recently experienced a change in leadership?