Changing is difficult. If you could do it on your own, you wouldn’t need the time or expense to do it with others.
But when we try to change on our own, we often get stuck, not because of fear, but because of tension. We become trapped. Fear’s a dream killer. It puts people into suspended animation; holding their breath, paralyzed and unable to move forward. Fear’s also a cheap way to ensure compliance. If you don’t believe me, go back and study the last two years of politics.
Tension, on the other hand, is about crossing a threshold. The tension of ‘this might work vs. this might not work.’ or ‘If I change, will I like who I become?’ Tension is the hallmark of a great transformational experience; the tension of not quite knowing where we are in the process or not having a guarantee with what’s about to happen.
Effective Leaders have the courage to create tension in a way that makes others want to actively seek it out because it works. It pushes us over the gap to the other side. Some see the tension coming and eagerly dive in. Others mistake that tension for fear and back away, promising themselves that they’ll sign up later.
The ones who leap in are transformed because the tension pays off. Those who hesitate, do so because they know the tension will produce change.
Truth be told, that hesitation will inevitably lead to fear.