DJHP Leaders / Careers /Transitions

Transitions imposed from the outside can make you feel dis-empowered, out of control, anxious; even fearful, as many have experienced thousand-fold in light of recent national events. Pair that with everyday demands of business: higher, faster productivity, often coupled with fewer resources. How do you step up to meet these business, career and life transition demands?

Transitions in Perspective

Transitions are naturally stressful.

While there may be some excitement brought about by anticipated change, more often than not, career, business and life transitions stir anxiety. It’s the unknown. Humans don’t respond especially well to the unknown, preferring to be in charge, imagining some sense of predictability and control.

There are three forces pressing on you during times of transition—to a greater or lesser degree. Right now it’s to a greater degree, and shows no sign of decreasing.

  • First is your inner, personal response to a change. Sometimes tumultuous and hopefully private, then tempered with wisdom and experience.
  • Next there’s the larger societal, communal response, quite abuzz right now. Some people are acting out the shadow side of the culture as others search for greater wisdom to make meaning, and take action.
  • Finally, there are the varied responses of the people around you. Those you impact. Those you love at home; those you lead, work with and have expectations of at the office.

Those three factors increase your stress potential and require a thoughtful, well-contained response.

You are at the center. Start there. How do you want to respond?

Purposefully Leading During Transitions

How you assimilate and choose to respond to change is especially important for yourself, and ultimately for those you love and those you lead. It’s important to face the change, feel related feelings and be choiceful about how you wish to respond. Remember that in this culture we’re not well trained in the mindset, tools and skills that allow is to appreciate, or deal gracefully with the speed, turnover and uncertainty brought about by change. This lack of perspective and over-all cultural awareness are especially spotlighted right now, as many struggle with fear, anger and even depression—not knowing or having the inner or outer resources to respond more appropriately.

You do. You have the resources to respond with grace and dignity. And you have an opportunity—right now—to become better at it and to guide others.

We’ve all had many conversations in recent weeks grappling and sorting how to respond to current events. As participants and leaders in your career, business, family and various communities, this is opportunity to reevaluate and ground yourself, then guide others, knowing we all need to not only “get through” change, but we need to transition up. Transitioning Up is staying out of group think and depression, embracing your talents, committing to be the change you desire, empowering and guiding others to do the same.

It’s a choice to stay a conscious course. Choose wisely how you wish to respond.Your wisdom is called upon, now more so than ever. Here are steps to take— for yourself first—then to guide others.

1. Ruthless Acknowledgement of “What Is”

To move forward wisely, begin by taking stock of the present reality. This will shape how you ultimately respond. Be in the here and now. No fantasies, what if’s or wishful thinking. Remove all judgments and speculation. Document what you know, what you feel, then look closely at how you wish to respond. Put short and long-term time frames around your responses, such as “Right Now,” the next 90 days, 18 months, 4 years. How you choose to respond will frame it for others.

2. Courageous Contributions

Step out of any fear, depression or reactivity to current societal uncertainties and revisit your deep-seated values. You have longtime desires to contribute—at home, at work and in the larger community. Some may be dormant, unfulfilled. It’s time. Again, take stock: If I’m not happy with the way things are, what are my expectations for myself, my larger legacy? What do I want to contribute, to do in the next 90 days, 18 months or 4 years? What is it the “world” needs that I have and want to contribute? Note the ways you can get started.

3. Fierce Commitments

With clear-sighted reality, grounded values and a dip into your own bigger purpose you are ready to commit to small next steps toward contributions you are revisiting. Make appropriate time commitments that lead to success. Determine where you can involve others like your leadership cohort or community, church or other support group.  How might you involve those at work to help harness their larger purpose?

4. Active Accountability

Articulate your commitments to “transition up” to your closest confidants and advisors frequently for ideas, support and to stay the course.

5. Make Meaning

Your work team also have big needs for grounding and guidance during times of transition. Take stock of those impacted, led by you. Take stock of what they need from you to come together. Make meaning out of the struggle, the mess they might be experiencing. Articulate purpose, show them the bar to aim for, base it on value-based motivations to come together with their uniqueness; to give it their all. Have a clear Mission and Manifesto for everyone. If you don’t have an updated one, involve everyone in the process to clarify culture and create lived engagement.

6. Radical Results

You expect important things of yourself during these times. Now is the time to clarify what is required of your people. On all levels. What is expected behaviorally, ethically, interpersonally, developmentally and in performance results. Inventory what tools and learning resources, communications and cultural shifts you will you need to provide for this to happen. Are you only rewarding success or can you guarantee safety for innovations that might fail? At home, come together with your mate and family to partner and engage consistently around values and activities that are important to all of you.

7. Invest Boldly

It’s about people and the future you wish to impact. The assessments in #5 and #6 will highlight the next-level challenges to your leadership, where empathic, straightforward communication, radical candor and a cultural growth-mindset are necessary for everyone to transition up. As they do so, everyone will become a better leader in their life, a greater contributor at work. Such expectations will give reason to come to work, do good work, and make the business successful. Such growth spills over to personal lives. A worthwhile investment.

Here are other articles you may find helpful in achieving these results:

Can Integrating Your Life Lead To A Thriving Business?

Career Transition As Opportunity

Crafting the Arc of Your Career Story One Life Stage at a Time

The Pause That Refreshes: Rewire Your Brain for Grit and Resilience on the Job, In Life

Dr. Jan Hoistad

Dr. Jan Hoistad is passionate about helping professionals, business owners, partners, and teams develop the skills necessary to achieve success and fulfillment in both their occupational pursuits and personal lives.

Dr. Hoistad has been a pioneer in the field of professional coaching. She’s advised countless CEO’s, executives, business group heads, emerging leaders, partners, teams, and professionals in career transition and business development providing them the tools to become catalysts for change in their own businesses, careers and lives.

Dr. Jan Hoistad