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leading in[tension]ally

MIKE NATALIZIO
CEO at HNI

Tension is an unavoidable part of change. If you have a direction, you know where you want to be, and you’re poised to execute - anxiety will almost inevitably ensue.

Why? It’s in our nature. Change means that we’re challenging the status quo and  we don’t yet know what Intensionallies around the corner. If we don’t know, we feel dumb. And that makes us afraid.

Tension and resistance to a plan don’t mean that it’s wrong.

Scary, yes. Wrong, no.

We want to know what happens next. We crave a quick resolution and a guarantee that our plan will be carried out with no hiccups.

Instant gratification is available in so many areas – we get constant news updates on our mobile devices and via Twitter.  It takes all of 5 seconds for someone to like our post of Facebook or a social network.

Delayed resolution – that reward for the effort invested – feels unfair somehow. We did everything we were supposed to do, so the hero must triumph and the enemy must taste defeat.

But in real life, the good guys lose too. A lot. And even with the best laid plans, there are no guarantees that at the end of the tunnel of uncertainty victory lies ahead.

Even amidst the uncertainty, don’t try to end the tension.

Learn to live with it – and show others in your organization that it’s okay to try and fail too.  Goals that are worth it merit waiting rather than seeking the quick completion.

 

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Topics: Leadership / Strategy