Leadership is upsetting people

To move people on is upsetting for them and you. You have to be reconciled that it’s ok when people are upset. Other people’s emotional response cannot be higher on the list than the place you are going. If it is then you and your organisation will never go anywhere. In fact upsetting people is part of the job. Just look at loving, meek Jesus. He turns over the tables, calls people vipers and one of his followers satan. But he led a world leading organisation that has offices and reps all over the world.

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Who moved my cheese… back

We know how uncomfortable change can be, especially if your a settler. Even for pioneers it can sometime be difficult because there is something in us that resists change even if we are the kind of person who relishes it, we can get to like things just as they are. 

We recently has some refurbishment done in our church kitchen. It was all about making space for new things, bigger teams so that we could do the things we have been called to do even better. Making a difference in others lives often involves change for us.

To make way for the new kitchen some things had to give. There was old pew that had been bolted to one of the walls many years ago. It had to go. Change happens, cheese gets moved an people get upset…. well on this occasion no one complained that the pew had been moved. The work on the new expanded kitchen was completed and we where getting ready for the grand reopening. Teams went into clean up the messes that have been made during the works and lay out the tables and chairs. The Living Room our community cafe was ready for it’s reopening. The night before I went and had a peek, to admire all the good work and I noticed something that was not intentional, but it was terrible and so true of how we are as people. The cheese had been moved back….

Well not the actual cheese, it not on the menu. But where there had been an old pew before the works someone had found two other pews, shorter ones, and placed them exactly where the old pew had been. A completely new kitchen had been fitted, but quite by accident someone had placed these two shorter pews in it’s place. The cheese was back in place. 

People get uncomfortable with change. They want to know where this cheese is at all times and it should always be where it has always been. Leaders bring change, but if you turn your back for a moment the culture, furniture and even cheese will return to how it was before. This is just how people and cultures are. Real change is possible but it requires people who are willing to keep on moving the cheese, even when people move it back.

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