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Change, Growth, and Succession

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Mastering Transitions

As much a sameness brings comfort, the constant nature of change forces us to become experts at managing transitions. Changing jobs. Changing seasons. Changing teammates. Changing leadership. Changing health. Changing direction. Changing priorities. Regardless of what event defines the transition, adapting has two vital components: mourning loss and refocusing on new circumstances. Name the pain and then work the problem. Consider these case examples:

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How to Restart a New Team

Whenever you add or subtract a member, you have a new team. Depending on the role and profile of the transition, the change can be significant. To minimize the impact, most teams try to keep as much the same as possible. Let the new members join the old club. The healthiest teams recognize the window of opportunity to re-anchor mission, values, and engagement. Here’s how:

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When Leaders See the Future

Unfortunately for most teams, succession decisions are reactive. A valuable talent got hit by the proverbial bus and the scramble ensued. A top performer was lured away by a shiny opportunity taking her client list with her. Leadership neglected to read the tea leaves of dissatisfaction and had to devote costly energy and attention to recruitment rather than retention. What might happen if the future was predictable? How might an organization approach succession planning?

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Author Your Legacy

We are about five years away from the boomer generation becoming a minority in the workforce. The change in demographics has businesses dusting off succession planning documents and asking increasingly urgent questions about strategic direction, talent quality, bench strength, and legacy. Leaders face a critical choice to begin the process: set the table for my successor or leave a mess for someone else to clean up?

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Everyone is Traumatized

We all perform well under normal circumstances. Poise stands out under stress. When the heat is turned up, look for the teammate with the best coping skills to lead the way. That’s not always the designated leader. It’s usually whoever has the most relevant experience with managing crisis effectively. Often, it’s the teammate with a trauma history. Do you know anyone who has been through a traumatic event?

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