I saw my youngest son, Tom (28) off at Manchester Airport 2 weeks ago to continue his life and career in the USA. His P45 arrived at my home (I’m the re-direct address!) a few days later … A reminder for me that, at this point anyway, this is a permanent move. There was no trial run, a bold step driven simply and most importantly by aspiration.
In my book I talk about how leadership is like parenting and how much I’ve learned and transferred from being a parent to my business life. There have been some emotional moments during the last few weeks whilst Tom has been busy preparing for his move. As I watched him march, with a sense of purpose, up the steps to the departure lounge with his brother, Andrew alongside me, the emotion inside the two of us watching him disappear out of sight was palpable. It wasn’t until that point, surprised how easy he made his farewell seem, I found myself eating my own words and looking in the mirror to realise his single minded drive has, to some extent been instilled by me. A drive that I know will be instrumental to his success.
I’ve always believed life is about being successful and fulfilled in whatever form that takes. During the last 2 weeks I’ve had to be able to live that belief in a different way and deal with the most impactful form of change … Change that effects the way you lead your family life. I believe change is exciting and relish the challenge of working out how to do things differently and more effectively … In this instance, the mission is to ensure we retain our close relationship with thousands of miles between us.
Many of you reading this will have experienced similar yourselves. In fact I discussed it with one of you last week. Thank you for the conversation Richard … I found it really useful and supportive.
The moral of the blog … Tell these stories when taking your business through change … The principal is the same. When change is announced, we go through a process of denial, resistance and sometimes, sheer panic before we are able to accept and embrace it. There’s nothing like a story others can relate to and the most effective are rarely business examples. Dealing with change is an emotional journey, one which the majority of people fear. It’s your personal experiences of how you’ve struggled and dealt with change that enable others to better relate to you. They’re more likely to feel they can trust you to lead them through change as a result.
Remember … Leadership is ALWAYS personal.