Reshared from May 2020 Newsletter
Anyone else feel like they’re in the constant swirl of a blender? Some cycles of change slow, manageable, almost fun? Other cycles an absolute blur, disorienting and chaotic?
As I’ve learned, taught, and experienced rapid change in organizations, transformation, more often than not, feels this way. It challenges who you think you are, solidifies what you stand for, and clarifies what’s most important to you.
The experience of being transformed, on the other hand, can feel like a total loss of control. Change is happening to you, not by you. It’s an anxiety-inducing rush of losing your balance, disconnecting from yourself, and feeling at war with reality.
Both push and pull you. Turn you inside out. Take you to your depths, if you let them.
Chances are you may be experiencing both transformation and the feeling of being transformed right now. Are you excited by new opportunities this time of solitude has brought your way, or are you sunken with grief, either personal or collective? Do you feel spacious and rested, or harried and edgy, surviving the day by the skin of your teeth?
Wherever you find yourself now, you’re not alone. Your feelings are important and valid exactly as they - and you - are. If you can, pause for a moment to see what you’re learning about yourself.
What is this crisis revealing to you, about you? About the world you’re responsible for shaping?
A few things revealing themselves to me lately:
- I’m intensely committed to shifting from being a well-intended bystander to active ally against structural inequality. Inequalities that were hidden to some are suddenly glaring to all. My colleague, Rudy Nickens, called the pandemic “The Great Exposer,” as COVID has hit Black, Native and Latinx communities dramatically more than any other. These books are currently shaking my foundations. Please read:
- Subtle Acts of Exclusion, Dr. Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown
Purposeful impact matters to me more than ever. Gratefully, I’ve been able to navigate my way into work that fills me with tremendous purpose: supporting people in being whole. I'm finding more ways to contribute, give back, and impact in bigger ways, including doubling down on my partnership with Evolution.
The deep well of compassion I hold for the mental health struggles people face grows daily, as I see the real effects that *untreated* mental health challenges can create in leaders’ lives, not to mention the impact on their businesses and families. We are learning more every day how much mental and emotional wellbeing contributes to the “Thriving - Burnout” spectrum. At the same time, we have so much work to do in this country to remove shame, speak bravely, and offer real structural support to people. This article reminds CEO’s that this is all of our responsibility.
To this end, for any of you responsible for leading change, accountable for the people and culture of your business, or managing others’ through this health crisis on the front line, I’d like to help.
I love hearing from you with updates on your businesses, teams, leadership, and family experiences during this wild time of transformation. Please let me know how you’re doing, what you might need, and if/how I can best be there for you.
To Your Thriving,