Dr. Lalia Rach, Executive Managing Director, Strategic Services, at ALHI, is a successful consultant, educator and leader who is recognized for her ability as a pragmatic thinker. Her approach to issues of strategy and leadership development produces insightful and distinctive thinking advancing the ability of emerging and established executives. Her success as a consultant, keynote speaker and moderator is directly connected to her relatable honesty and practical and thoughtful information.
Time flies, seasons change, a new day begins. Three pithy sayings about the constancy of change.
Consider, for example, that while we may not like the fact that time flies, here we are already halfway through the second quarter of the year.
How about this one: as the seasons change, on one hand we bask in the warmth, the colors, and the smells, then on the other, we complain about the heat, the cold, and the rain.
Or this: at the start of a new day, we may jump out of bed excited and ready to get going, but 24 hours later when the alarm goes off, we pull the covers over our head thinking it can’t be time to get up.
In each saying is an often unrecognized and simple truth—we are resilient. Each of us regularly accepts change on a minor and major scale. There are countless examples of our ability to adjust: colleagues come and go and yet our organizations continue; technology is updated, policies are revised, or benefits are altered; and through it all we become accustomed to what is new
Why do I point this out when I know full well that so many of us are uncertain, tired, and concerned about what is yet to come? Because sometimes we just need a reminder that we are okay, that the past two-plus years have been all about change and by and far we have succeeded. Right or wrong, we have gotten used to the chaos, realized that perspective and decisions can shift hour by the hour, understood that what worked yesterday may no longer fit the situation today, and that we have so few answers, but we are moving forward.
Make more of your resilience. Celebrate the fact you are still standing and may even have advanced. Realize for so many it is far easier to see the negative of the situation, the difficult, the challenge, but so difficult to acknowledge the positive … the fact we did it, we overcame upheaval, and learned new approaches. It is time to embrace that moving forward is the best choice since we know that we are in an unsettled time at best.
I am reminded of a quote from actor and musician LL Cool J:
“When adversity strikes, that's when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”
The simplicity of his words rings true as we find ourselves searching for the best way forward. The best strategy is to be calm, to think before acting, to stay grounded. We accomplish very little that is useful to our organizations when we act without thinking, speak without considering facts versus assumptions, or allow our emotions to chase away our ability to reason.
Consider a different approach to addressing challenges and issues that destroy a sense of calmness within your area by:
· Consistently communicate with clarity and precision when providing direction or answering a question. Too often we make the false assumption because we understand the point we are making, everyone else does as well.
· Consider if our solutions are based on what was normal (before COVID) and what might be out-of-date in the current environment.
· Reflect on if you often make mountains out of molehills, or leap to conclusions before asking the right questions. Is over-reaction a norm for you and your area?
· Identify situations that cause frustration for others that work with you. Do you control any of the situations? If so, what can be done to turn the frustration into opportunity? If you do not control the situation, can you bring a different but positive perspective to the conversation?
We are all searching for answers, direction, stability. You can decide to calmly contribute to this search and by doing so, be the leader, professional, colleague you want others to be.