What thoughts come to your mind when someone says the word “transition?” Does it excite you?? Does it terrify you? For some people, the thought of transitions can strike such fear in them that it is truly paralyzing. Other people somehow thrive on it. In business, there’s even the term “transitional leader.” Why am I bringing up the subject of transition? Well, we are all in one sense or another in a process of transition. In one way, we’ve transitioned from yesterday to today, and God willing, we’ll transition from today to tomorrow. If we are not currently experiencing a period of transition, one is most assuredly approaching.
A question you may ask when a transition presents itself is, “How will I navigate this? As a person in business, ministry, community or family, how can I help to make transition easier?” Whether you are a leader or not, these are the type of questions that we all face. They may or may not have the same answers all the time. However, there are key principles that you can consider to help you when you’re faced with a transition.
In speaking about businesses that went from “Good to Great” author Jim Collins presents several key takeaways from his research into why some companies transitioned from average to exceptional. One key takeaway is a three-point framework that took many of the companies from buildup to breakthrough. Those three points were disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined actions.”
It seems as though wherever you look, the word discipline comes up as a major key to success when it comes to transition. Whenever you hear of someone who lost a great amount of weight or prepared themselves to compete at a great athletic level, the word discipline is constantly the thing that contributed to that successful transition.
It’s probably obvious that having a disciplined thinking process is something that would be beneficial when managing transition. The ability to be able to ask the right questions that lead to solid solutions can make all the difference in a time of transition. Do you have the right supports systems and structures? Do you have the right people in the right places? Do you have the necessary resources and information to take the essential actions? Having a disciplined thinking process can be the difference in transitioning well or falling flat on your face.
The disciplined actions are highly critical. Whether you’re writing, budgeting, preparing to make a business or life change, having disciplined actions can make those times of transition smoother. My wife happens to be very disciplined when it comes to having a plan for things. If you saw her today, you’d be amazed by how many planners she has to help organize herself, the family, and her interests. It’s that organizational discipline that helps her to see strategically how to take people’s idea from simply being a concept in the mind to a realized business or plan that is actionable.
In looking at the discipline of leaders who took the companies they led from good to great, one thing they all had in common was “not in setting new vision for the companies they were leading; instead they chose to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people into the right seats and then they figured out where to drive it.”
The transition you may be facing may not be as grand as transitioning a Fortune 500 company from good to great but having the right disciplines to get you through the transition can make a world of difference.
QUESTION: How do you navigate times of transition?