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He who hesitates, might get clobbered.
Whether in business, sports or art, we know that conviction and confidence are key to success. There are few opportunities for those who are unsure or unclear about the direction they would like to take their work.
This important perspective was illuminated to me again as I traveled recently through Vietnam – a magnificent country of resilient and generous people. There is, however, one problem – the traffic.
It is a challenging task, to say the least, trying to cross a busy street in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. Without the aid of traffic lights, motorbikes (with one, two or three passengers aboard, along with parcels or babies), buses, cars and bicycles criss-cross and zig-zag through the intersections and main streets. During my first 24 hours in HCMC. I was given good navigation advice:
Somehow, it works. Miraculously, walking across the street slowly with purpose signals oncoming drivers to anticipate your position and adjust their drive path accordingly. As I observed and experienced this phenomenon, I thought how this approach is also what works as we move through change at work.
When our organization is going through major change (acquisitions, mergers, culture shift, structure reorganization, etc.) we naturally experience hesitancy, insecurity and frustration. Is this the right direction? Will this work and make things better?
As leaders, we need to coach and guide people through change, making the transition a successful one. Once the new direction has been set, what if we followed the pedestrian advice for successfully moving through traffic in Vietnam?
Just like the chaotic traffic in HCMC, change is messy and confusing, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will arrive at the other side.