I’ve been working at my current job for about 13 months now, and things have been going well.
I’m now in a top management role as chief operating officer, but that doesn’t mean I know everything.
If anything, I have to be more adaptable than ever so that I can meet all my staff where they are–and do so on a daily basis.
About two months ago, I got news that I needed to change.
During our quarterly meeting as a management team, we completed an exercise intended to provide everyone with positive feedback and, wait for it, something that we all needed to change.
The fateful moment had arrived, the time when you know you need to hear something and be open to it–but also a time when your body wants to recoil and get to the closest hiding space.
This is what the two other people on the management team said.
They told me that, when I have big ideas that I’m really excited about, ideas that I’d like to implement in the business, I tend to zoom miles ahead of others and move into implementation phase before I’ve fully explained what’s going on in my head.
They told me that I had proven myself with my ideas–but that I needed to slow down and explain to the rest of the team what I meant so that I could get buy-in from them.
It wasn’t that I was trying to force my will on others, they told me, it was that I didn’t even take the time to see how others could help in the early stages of the idea’s implementation.
Because, even as a person who considers himself pretty self-aware, this was a blind spot for me.
I thought I had explained my ideas and received buy-in.
But here were two people I trusted with clear evidence that I could be doing a lot better.
I knew what I needed to do, but I was still scared to change. I was scared of change itself.
Because what I had been doing was working for me.
Still, that didn’t matter.
Because I had clear and compassionate feedback that I needed to meet my team where they are.
It was time to change.