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Training Transformations

A Change Leader’s Shiny New Thing

Ryan E. Day's picture
Submitted by: Ryan E. Day
12/30/2015

It’s the day before New Year’s Eve and I’m reviewing my past year at work. Normal for the season I suppose, maybe I’m just getting old. A pretty good year actually, but in retrospect I’m a little uncomfortable. The mental mirror is not always a pleasant lens even if it is helpful.

My Dad asks me about every other week what I do at work, but he’s 86 years old going on 100 so I just say I write and do computer stuff—which is true. But like everyone in such a lean organization as ours, I wear other hats too. Often I function as a change leader. I don’t really set out to, it just happens.

For me, vision is like something I find on the beach, not like something I work at. I see something and hold it up for others to see as well. Others don’t always see the thing I saw as significant and that brings up the uncomfortable part. All too often, no matter what other team mates may think, I can’t let go of the shiny new thing I’ve seen and held up. I naturally tend to get under people’s skin and depending on whether this new thing pans out, that ends up looking like either yeast or mold.

The thing about this reflection is I’m beginning to see that being right about the value of a thing may not be as important as the way in which I go about sharing my supposed insight. Maybe the idea is good, maybe not. Maybe I’m right, but maybe I’m wrong. More importantly, can I look back with confidence that I treated my team mates with respect and kindness? What good is a shiny new thing if my words and actions have caused friction and unhappiness?

So, even though I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, I would like to look forward to 2016 in hopes of providing more salve than salt in our work place.