Leading with Discomfort

If you’re looking to create positive change in any environment, there’s a fundamental rule of leadership you must understand.

The rule is that whenever you attempt to implement change, that’s when the dysfunctions will start surfacing immediately. Why? Because change requires new disciplines and new protocols, which always create discomfort. Even the simplest adjustments produce discomfort for someone.

Try something as minuscule as moving a coffee maker in the break room without notice from where it’s been located since the earth cooled. You’ll think the earth shifted on its axis.

Try improving anything that you might think would improve the environment and you’ll find that it’s much easier to talk about the weather or what you had for lunch.

When preparing to initiate change, most leaders usually say something like ‘this is going to help everyone so let’s make it happen.’ What the great leaders usually say is all of that plus ‘however, this is going to make some of you uncomfortable for a while, but let’s all give it a chance.’

Truth be told, it’s more difficult but much more leader-like.

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