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Natural disasters can demolish entire regions and bring significant, long-lasting consequences and changes. Earthquakes usually have foreshocks that come before the main earthquake and aftershocks
following in the same area. These generally occur within a short timeframe wreaking havoc on
entire communities. While we can’t prevent an earthquake all together, through strategic
planning, scientists have figured out a way to mitigate the devastation. By identifying potential
hazards, building safer structures, and educating others, the impact of these earthquakes can
be significantly reduced.

For some, change feels like an earthquake causing teams to feel like their world is rocked.
When change is executed with excellence leaders can spark immeasurable growth. Much like
scientists can help mitigate potential damage, leaders can implement strategies to use change
to reach the next level of extraordinary. This requires intentional planning, careful strategy, and
immense forethought.

Once change is implemented, it is helpful to have frequent and timely check-ins for individuals
and teams. The size of the changes, who is involved, and how quickly the changes are
implemented will determine the best timing for follow-up. It is wise to err on the side of
overcommunication and abundant support rather than to leave the team feeling stranded.
Change is a beautiful opportunity for leaders to build trust and show how much others’
contributions are valued.

There will likely be unexpected consequences that come with change, but expecting the
unexpected can help everyone prepare. How do you measure shifting with excellence? How do
you balance encouraging the resistors versus coddling those who need to step up? How do you
address concerns without creating a false sense of urgency?

Don’t hesitate on shifts that need to happen. The first plan may not be the best plan, but few
things are irreversible. Seek to know what is going well and what isn’t going well from those
who are on the front lines. Offer specific, relevant support that would be valuable to your team.

Leaders need to allow time. Time to adjust. Time to succeed with new systems. Time to build
confidence in the midst of change. Time to ask questions. Time to work through frustrations.
Time to CELEBRATE the wins!

Reminding team members of the reason for necessary change can provide reassurance.  By
providing clear and concrete goals in line with the values of the organization, meaningful
motivation among the team is naturally fueled. Feel free to incorporate humor, which is always
helpful in tense situations. Follow through on previous promises made to the team. And in the
midst of setbacks, strive to keep pace with achieving long-term goals which can maintain
momentum for the long haul.

Change can rock our team members, organizations, and communities, but it’s important to
remember that sometimes our next level of extraordinary requires change. This new level of
extraordinary requires individuals and teams to step out of comfort and convenience, to dig
deep for courage, and to push forward in the midst of challenge.

Read Change Part 2: Change and Resistance