Change is now will you lead?


I took this beautiful fall photo the other day while I was out at my frequent hiking spot. Autumn is finally coming to Richmond. It got me thinking about the nature of change and how that impacts our businesses.


I took this beautiful fall photo the other day while I was out at my frequent hiking spot. Autumn is finally coming to Richmond.  It got me thinking about the nature of change and how that impacts our businesses.

Change is the only constant. 30+ plus years ago a dear friend shared this idea with me (it was by means original to them). I have been pondering it ever since.

 “It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating, they have to be about change.” ― Miles Davis (A big thank you from our friends at Global Roundtable Leadership for this quote. I am a huge Miles Davis fan)

“Speed is safety. Nature is slow”.  Ajax

This blog post will follow so much of my thinking that is contradictory. Taking two ideas that are equally true and in total opposition and how I approach appropriate solutions.

As I write this it is hard if not impossible to name an industry, not in flux. I have been spending a lot of time focused on banking lately, with huge changes coming there (more on this later). Technologic disruption, employees in revolt, the climate crisis, evolving government regulation, emergent new business models, and customers embracing their new power. I am sure you can name a few more. Not to even mention concerns about our own health. Do you have products sitting in containers offshore (one client does and it is a crisis), are you facing inflationary price increases?

Something that has fascinated me about the COVID pandemic is the illogic of which industries got crushed and which ones exploded in a good way. In either case, you are probably feeling some level of whiplash.

Ok, based on articles in the media I think we can agree that you are probably feeling anxious and insecure trying to understand what the future holds.

I don’t have all the answers (I don’t have that much ego). What I do know for sure is when we center ourselves deeply on our values clarity eventually emerges. This is wisdom and coherence.

When I climb rocks sometimes a situation arises where I can’t find the path forward and I am unable to retreat. Are your palms sweaty? Mine is, I have been in this situation so many times. When fear arises are brains naturally focus more. The problem is this usually eliminates the solution from our view. Wisdom and coherence allow us to recruit other brain centers to broaden our view and find creative and innovative solutions that at first were unknowable. I am still here as proof this hypothesis has legs.

I have a question for you. Is your goal to work hard or to get results? Most folks assume they are synonymous. They are not.

So, you are facing changes, I am not suggesting being lazy, yet I am suggesting you take the time and develop a way of being that promotes your ability to innovate. No innovation, no change only bad things will happen.

Change is hard. Just like all of you I have my fearful anxious times. Yet I have developed a toolbox that offers me enough relief I remain creative with the ability to either be at peace with my circumstances or, innovate and initiate changes.

I have been intimately involved with several small yet high-impact non-profits. Their business model is broken yet lack of resources and stress inhibits their ability to evolve.

As mentioned earlier I am spending a lot of focus currently on the independent banking sector. There are 10,000 institutions in the category my client is aiming to possibly work with. My prediction (I hope I am wrong) is over the next 10 years that number will reduce down to 2000. There will be lots of acquisitions and mergers, yet this alone will not solve the true underlying issues and quite possibly make them worse. Technology will play a huge role. It will require leaders to get out of their comfort zone (change!). As much I think technology is a huge part of our collective future ultimately connecting humans to humans on a human scale will be a huge market differentiator. Yes, scary change.

Two great examples of success are independent pharmacies and bookstores. Both industries were decimated over the last 20 years by the internet and big box stores. 80-90% of each industry was unable to evolve and are now gone. The ones that did innovate not only are still here they are more profitable than ever (at least pre-pandemic).

I have a client that is being affected by many of the challenges we have discussed here. His response has been to engage his passions of tennis and golf more deeply. In my opinion, his leadership skills are on the rise, his skills at being present are soaring and he is more resilient.

This is not an easy topic. It requires a lifetime of effort. My question is what are you waiting for?

Sometimes change happens quickly, sometimes it is a slow slide. Some of us are more apt to embrace change some of us will resist with all our being.

Whether it is a dramatic change or slow evolution find your way to embrace it.

A long-held observation is friends and acquaintances who abhor winter and huddle inside and complain don’t do as well as folks who embrace the season and get outside and find their way to still enjoy themselves.

Another paradox that comes to mind is one of the ways to become “successful” is to make it a habit. I believe habits are incredibly powerful tools for helping achieve our goals. So often it is the little things. Yet old habits can be one of the greatest inhibitors to evolutionary change. I said paradox.

There is no grand finale here, no great reveal of the secret formula. The proven formula is to get on the path and develop a lifestyle that promotes wisdom and coherence over time. It’s a way of being. As this way of permeating your life your business will follow. Creativity, innovation, resilience, confidence not to mention peace and love will grow. People in your life will notice. You will notice.

A favorite comment at a conference was “too much sage on the stage”. Many writers will tell you what to do. My goal here is to help you expand your thinking and approaches. If that by reading this you choose to make some new choices my time was well spent. I have had so much feedback that it works I am confident in sharing with you, my path. Our paths are different. Yet we are separate human beings who both share the unified field with all of humanity. In the end, I believe business is ultimately a human endeavor deserving our best effort.

If a guide to leadership, change, and strategy sound useful please reach out. We excel at helping you with your own best effort.














Share this page with your colleagues:

Read More…