I recently went through an exciting, stressful, uncertain time at work.
My division of my enterprise was purchased by another company, an industry leader.
Lots of emotions and uncertainty. Feeling surprised at what we were losing in the transaction. Unsure about the possibilities for future.
The most helpful message I received was this one:
“I can’t imagine everything you’re processing as a leader and individual with the big news yesterday. Know I’m here to support you in whatever way I can.”
It seems obvious, but I process information differently in those two roles. As an individual, I am thinking about my own needs first, what I’m concerned about. During change, fear and uncertainty are at the center of my mind.
When I remember my identity as a leader, my focus shifts. I think about the people around me and the effect my emotions, expressions, thoughts, and perspective have on them. Or, instead, how I might change things for the better with a grounded vision, clear commitments, simple actions, and confidence during uncertainty.
When I’m focused on myself, it’s hard to challenge my emotions with the essential questions:
- Is this fear real?
- Is this emotion helpful?
- What can I control?
- What action should I take?
As a leader, its essential that I see potential, that I cultivate a mindset that makes positive action possible. It’s tough to do that when I’m too focused on myself.
So, when you’re facing change, take the time to process it in both your roles before proceeding–it might make a huge difference.
And stay encouraged!