The Rhythms of Change

As leaders we typically have little problem with change because we’re the one’s initiating it.  Change is frequently needed, often difficult and always an adjustment. A big part of a leaders job is to initiate change.  And as leaders of change we’re not always sensitive to the impact that it has on the lives of those around us.  When we’re the initiators of change we have the added benefit of processing the change in advance.  So when it comes we’ve made the emotional, mental and spiritual adjustments that ready us for the new normal.

But those we lead don’t always get the privilege of extended process time. That’s why they often fight, resist and rebel.  Change requires adjustment because it produces a shift in our rhythms.  And shifts in our rhythms make us feel uncomfortable and insecure. For example when you step off dry land onto a boat, you’re keenly aware of the rolling sensation of being on water. At first you may feel unsure of your footing but in time you make the mental and physical adjustments and the floating sensation becomes your new normal.

I really began to understand this on a greater level when my family and I recently experienced a major change.  We moved from Charleston, SC to Atlanta, GA.  While this change has been very positive, I’ve experiencing the impact of a changing rhythm of life.  Twelve weeks ago I left one job and took a new one.  I sold my old house and bought a new one.  I left old familiar friends and developing new ones.  I abandoned my PC and started using a Mac.  I gave up my Blackberry and bought an Iphone.  I gave away my old car and bought a new car. I now work on different projects, have a different team, work on a different set of goals, adjust to a new work culture, maintain a different schedule, the list could go on and on.  Everything felt so different…but I’m gradually getting my “sea legs” and these changes are quickly becoming my new normal.  It’s good for me as a leader to experience the impact of change; maybe it will help me lead people through the rhythms of change better in the future.

Are you experiencing frustrations because of recent changes?  If so be patient with yourself as you find the  rhythms of your new normal.

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Mac Lake is the Development Pastor at Seacoast Church, a multi-site church with 13 campuses, where he oversees leadership development, small groups, missions, communications, and internships. He is a popular church leadership conference speaker and the author of the training resource Growing Small Group Leaders. Learn more from Mac at