Anyone ignoring or soft peddling key inflection points in life or career transition points is doing so at their peril. It will catch up sooner or later.
Knowledge is the first step about knowing how to do things better or differently.
When I introduce myself I use my different hats - a leadership brand specialist, personal effectiveness trainer and a transition coach. The last one often gets some attention - some people get it immediately, some nod wisely - others point blank ask - what is that? It gets me to the story of molten lava (hence image above!) and the reason why people should pay closer attention.
#1 Transition is Disruption in disguise
What is transition? They are moments or phases in our life where we undergo a 'disruption' from our current status quo/ comfort zone. They might be 'big or small', personal or professional, positive or not so positive but they ALL 'shake us' up and how we are feeling and how we experience the world around us. For example changing jobs, promotion, redundancy, parenthood, empty nester, returning to a job after maternity/ paternity off, divorce/ separation/ marriage, retirement, ...you get the drift. They change our life.
Transitions are about experiencing feelings. We feel uncomfortable or excited. We feel lost, confused or energised. We feel exhausted or top of the world.
We all react differently. Some take more time to 'settle'; for some its seamless. It is directly related to how we perceive and experience the transition and the meaning we give it based on the life we have led so far and our beliefs around that transition point.
This is an important aspect for high performed and leaders who wish to lead themselves in a more powerful way or for that matter wish to support team members going through transition. Why? Read on...
#2 Everyone is experiencing transition.
Even if our own life circumstances were not changing with any major life event, we experience disruption because of the shifts happening around us. Our life seems to be constantly in a state if transition.
Some of these impact us directly and are visible like new technology or specifically a new smart phone or when driverless cars enter the market more fully. Some of them are direct but invisible such as climate change and a new government health policy or new transport routes to get to office.
Then there are disruption that we face as business leaders and entrepreneurs. Such as Amazon or Google or bitcoin - they fundamentally have the power to disrupt sectors and ways of working or the very nature of business. We see the impact through retail market shrinking, new online stores coming up and many more. Or when our business gets absorbed by a new invested or an acquisition. It is an external disruption bit each time we feel it.
The interesting element is that disruption is now becoming rapid and unpredictable. As a result our amygdala (the fight/flight/freeze response) is on high alert leaking cortisol and adrenalin to address the known/unknown/ perceived threats.
Too much of these hormones pumping through our veins and it results in stress, fatigue, anger, burnout, hypertension, poor decision making, confusion, sleepless nights and anxiety not more than a heartbeat away.
What does it mean for a leader? How does a leader use transition to boost their own performance levels and that of the team? What is the story of the molten lava? Read about it in Part 2