While sitting on the train we noticed a woman traveling with a large 4 wheeled suitcase and a backpack. The backpack was connected to the pull handle of the bag. She casually held the pull string of the backpack in her hand. It was fascinating to watch how the train stopped and started continuously but the bag stayed in place with little to no movement. As we were watching and discussing one of our presentations about change it made us reflect on how being grounded impacts change and how you can maneuver through it.
- Avoid quicksand, you don’t have to be grounded with lead feet. You do have to have enough of a hold, i.e. The suitcase and a small string were able to keep the case steady in an unsteady environment.
- Adjust your footing. One of the most important things about change is being able to look at the situation and make adjustments. At one point, she noticed the suitcase was edging it’s way into the aisle and adjusted it back into the desired position. If something is not going as planned, stop and adjust.
- Remain secure. As leaders it’s our job to provide security to those at all levels of the change continuum. Majority motion is what truly creates a sustainable change so don’t become wary of creating safe places for individuals to adjust to the new normal. Creating environments without fear moves everyone forward.
- Keep your eye on the goal. As soon as the individual got distracted and didn’t keep a conscious hold of the backpack string, the suitcase started to shift and roll as the train was in motion. The suitcase needed that small amount of adjustment to stay on track. Use a light hand and be a presence.
- On one of the stops the suitcase rolled out of her reach and ran into the barrier in front of her. She got out of her seat and moved the suitcase back to the desired location. It’s OK to make significant changes if necessary.
The suitcase arrived at its destination, and so will you. It had stories to tell along the way and regardless of the route, it was successful. We are all on a journey, and working to stay grounded as a leader you realize sometimes you have to go slow to go fast. Adjust the path, trust the process and celebrate the successes.