Transformational Leadership

Crisis As An Opportunity To Transform Leadership

Richard Cox asked:

We spend our lives preparing for a potential disaster, all the while not living life to the full. When a crisis strikes, what do you then do?

Either you can let the crisis run, hold onto your position, trying not to change, or you could use the event as an opportunity to change into a direction that supports future outcomes. In the internal world of a human being, we resist change, mainly because we fought so hard to maintain our current position in the first place. Then life comes along, and gives us another challenge by saying – “time to change”. Much pain and resentment can be stirred up in our attempts to resist these events in our lives.

When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters: One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity

A common thought that comes up is – “Why me?” This thought points to our victim consciousness. Very few people are able to identify this, and deal with it directly, as our ego seems to not want us to let go and find our authentic self. The victim mentality would have us trapped in a bad situation, just because we believe that we have no power to change it – pretty insidious.

Not only in larger life events, but also in smaller, day to day moments, there are great opportunities to find our true, authentic and powerful selves, simply by being aware that what stops us, is ourselves. If only we could learn to get out of or own way, then perhaps life could move us forward to what we want in life. We tend to control almost everything that happens in our lives. That’s why is can be so painful when change is required. We have focused on creating and maintaining the status quo for so long, that we do not want to let go.

Transformation on a personal level requires purpose, will and support – a prevailing wind from life helps too. Awareness and awakening to a greater purpose in life can be stressful. When life shows us how we have been doing our lives and gives us an opportunity to change, all the better. From my experience, it is unlikely for most humans to get up one morning and say, “Right, today I change my life”. That is not to say that it never happens, just that it is rare.

You could say that it also why we find people resistant to change in the workplace, as whatever we do on a personal level, we seem to bring with us wherever we go. Of course, the person that driving the change usually feels less pain (unless they have hundreds of resistant people to convert!). That is to say that if you are in charge of your own change, open to what is now present in your reality, rather than resisting it, then the process will be less painful, and can even be enjoyable.

With the only constant in life being change, it makes sense to cultivate an attitude of flexibility when it comes to navigating life’s ups and downs.

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