As I look around my situation I see a microcosm of what is happening in the wider world.. CHANGE! I’m not sure that I always cope well with it, but it is a fact of life, no matter where you are geographically. The question is “Are you proactive or reactive to it?”
How are you going to do that? Well, my job as Chaplain is to help you keep those things in perspective by reminding you of the constants. You need to be sure about who you are and why you are here. With that foundation you can then branch out and consider some of the other issues which confront us all:
Challenge! The key is to clearly define what is really happening and WHY! That does not mean broaching classified secrets, but it does mean keeping people informed of what is going on and changes that might impact them in the future.
Honesty! You need to be truthful about the positives as well as the negatives. If you have not been told the big picture, be honest about that too rather than make it up as you go along. If you are struggling with the changes, maybe you should admit it!
Attitudes change before behaviour! Re-assess your own attitudes. Accept the fact that it might take some time but if you show how the change will benefit them and that you want their input, they will be more inclined to give it a go.
No pain no gain! All change is painful but it is our job as leaders, to monitor the rate of change so that the pain remains in the ‘bearable’ range. Some people will cope better than others, sometimes the ones that seem to be the best are not being honest.
Glue that holds all this together is RELATIONSHIPS. You need to know your people and see them as your most valuable asset and not use them to impress your boss. Communication is the key both up and down the chain of command and across chains!
Excellence! You have the responsibility to set the standard, to live out the defence values of professionalism, loyalty, innovation, courage, integrity and teamwork while you too struggle with change! Your example will make it or break it.
Nobody ever said it would be easy, but that IS why you are here. The changes are not going to go away, though some of the people might! The place to start is finding some balance in your own life, accepting the fact that maybe God put you here for a purpose. Out of that security, you can then confidently lead others down the road of change.
Chaplain Ian Whitley