3/30/08

Sandpaper - Part One

As a leader initiating change can often times be one of the most problematic and least popular things to do. Change can be either be easy or hard, and often times it’s the latter. Change is often times associated with something new and it requires a lot from both leaders and followers. Let’s receive a lesson on sandpaper from our favorite carpenter. First off, when sanding something or initiating change, one often times has to start with a tougher grade of sandpaper to shape the wood. In the same respect we need to start strong, giving the future some shape, and communicating the change and the reason. Then after that, a medium grade sandpaper is used to continue to shape and smooth out the wood. In this step, the leader should continue with changes but nothing as drastic or as big as the first initial changes. This allows other leaders and followers to adjust and buy into all of the changes. By easing the change it allows the people sometime to breathe while still keeping them on their toes. Finally a third type of sand paper is used to make the wood as smooth as possible. As a leader, this means that we allow the new changes to really sink in, and become a part of everyday culture. Not going back to a large grain of sandpaper to roughen the wood up and create a disturbance but to now freely walk in the new culture and procedures. Lastly a finish is applied to the wood to signify completion…the same should happen when we make changes. Whatever we have left after the sanding process, we must finalize it. Or go back to using a different grade of sandpaper to make adjustments. At some point though we need to complete the changes otherwise we will become stuck in a rut and never move on.

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