The Courage to Change Course

Last week, Royal Dutch Shell abandoned a 9-year, $7 billion effort to find oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. The decision was made in the face of tumbling oil prices and unrelenting pressure from environmental groups. The decisions you and I make are probably not of this magnitude, but in our world, no less important.

Change and the Unknown

As a leader, you must learn to not only tolerate change, you must learn to create it – and help others do the same. The challenge: The road to the future is paved with uncertainty. And, for many people, your picture of the future is not clear and inviting - it is dark and foreboding.

Dealing with Different … 6 Ways to Embrace Change: Part 6

OK ... now that you've shown courage, checked your heart at the door, anticipated adventure, negotiated as necessary, and even grieved what you left, there is one thing left to do. 

Engage with the next stage.


Simply put, lean in. Too often leaders go kicking and screaming when it comes to change. The effects are tragic. I'm serious. What good does it do you in the long run to resist change? Resistance only slows things down, keeps you stuck, and causes you to hurt your own career. Engagement will energize your effort and propel you to greater impact.

The best leaders are on the leading edge of change. They recognize it as an ongoing reality, not only tolerating it, but learning, stretching, growing, and ultimately thriving in the midst of the chaos. 

For the past couple of weeks we have pushed on this topic of change. I wish there was some rah-rah-happy-speech I could give you to make it easier. But the truth is, different is difficult and you are going to have to deal with it until you die. Refusal will surely accelerate irrelevance.

When it comes to dealing with different, if you intend to be a great leader ...

C - hoose courage over comfort

H - ave the right heart

A - nticipate an adventure

N - egotiate as necessary

G - rieve what you leave

E - ngage in the next stage

You can too. Go ahead. Lean in and engage with the next stage. You'll be a better leader. And on the bright side, if you don't like it, I'm sure change will be just around the corner.

Leadership Begins at Home,


Which of the "6 ways of Dealing with Different" listed above is currently the most challenging for you?

Comment Below ...

Change Behavior Quickly with this Best Practice

Recognize and reward the behaviors you want to see repeated.  This is a universal and timeless principle of leadership. Professor Michael LeBoeuf called it the "greatest management principle." Maybe, maybe not, however it is an extremely powerful idea. Therefore, none of us were shocked when we discovered it as one of the best practices of High Performance Organizations. If you want to change a culture quickly, here's how we say it... Honor Values in Action.

Choose Your Guides Carefully

I’ve had some amazing guides over the years. In Tanzania, my guide was named Teacher; in Botswana, Rutzi saved my life – more than once. And, in Nepal our guide helped us make it to Everest Base Camp and back safely. However, guides are not reserved to adventure settings.

Progress Is Always Preceded by Change

Change – besides, religion and politics, there are few other topics that are so polarizing. Some people are opposed to change regardless of the reason, rationale or logic. Others, often leaders, make a living creating it. The irony is, even some leaders don’t love it, but they instigate it anyway. Why? Leaders understand: Progress is always preceded by change.


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