Newsletter by Barbara Mintzer

Barbara Mintzer's Newsletter
The Power of a Vision... a Leader's Journey

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February 2005
Moving from Transition to Acceptance of Change

"Once we choose hope, everything is possible."

Christopher Reeve

In last month's Newsletter we looked at how we deal with the uncomfortable period of transition that occurs after we say goodbye to the old, but before we are ready to fully embrace the new. My sincere thanks to those of you who told me that you have implemented the strategies I gave you for dealing with the resistance to change from your staff. Please remember ... nothing happens overnight ... but "once we choose hope, everything is possible." In this Newsletter we will continue the focus on moving your staff through the transitionary period as smoothly and effectively as possible. In order to move your team from transition to acceptance of the new, team leaders need to:

  1. Plan purposefully
  2. Present passionately
  3. Pursue persistently
  4. Proceed proactively

When you are leading your team through organizational change, you have to plan your moves purposefully. There are steps to take your team through, and these steps should be thought out and implemented with the end result in mind. What do you need to do to move people from fear and apathy, to excitement and commitment? The most important thing you can do is to be there for them when they need to express their fears and reassure them that the change is a win-win for all concerned. Who are the people on your team who could be your "cheerleaders" and articulate your position for you? I have worked with many teams, and without exception, I have found that each team has an informal leader that the team turns to. This is usually the charismatic person on the team, the one with exceptional communication skills, the one with the ability to persuade others to see it his/her way. This is the person you want to cultivate, especially if inter-personal communication is not your strong point. After your team has expressed their fears or concerns, the next step is to get them to understand the changes that are occurring, and get them excited and looking forward to what's next.

Your ability to passionately articulate the changes that will be forthcoming and your vision for your team based on these changes, is paramount to getting buy-in and commitment from your team. Your passion and your belief in your company's vision as expressed by these changes will help move people in a positive direction. Remember to always answer the non-verbalized question your staff is asking themselves "What's in it for me?" when you present your vision. Get your staff involved as quickly as you can in your vision, making each person responsible for his/her contribution. Ask for ideas and insights from your staff as well. The more people have a say in what is happening, the more buy-in you will get from them. Understand that the days of your staff doing a "good day's work for a good day's wage" are over. Employees today want to be involved with decisions that affect them, and they are looking for a place to belong and make a difference. You must be able to meet these needs if you want the loyalty and commitment necessary to achieve your oganizational goals and vision.

"Effective leaders put words to the formless longings and deeply felt needs of others."

Warren Bennis

Pursue your vision persistently. Do not give up on it even though you may get discouraged and frustrated at times. Nothing takes the place of persistence. Realize that everything that is happening to you has probably happened to many others before you, perhaps in slightly different settings, but they have had the same trials and pressures as you are going through. This is the time for you to take care of yourself. Nothing brings up self-doubt and self-criticism like new circumstances and feeling out of control. This is the time to do the things that give you feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem. If you have a support network of people you can turn to for insights and guidance, utilize it. Ask for an honest assessment of your situation as seen from someone outside of the situation. You may just be too close to the situation to look at it objectively, and someone who is willing to be honest (not brutal) would be a big help to you. I have four people in my support system ... two colleagues who are also professional speakers and consultants, and two personal friends who are not in my line of business at all. The one commonality they all share is that they are willing to give me their honest feedback when I ask. They have helped me see situations from a perspective I would have never thought of. Support systems are invaluable when you are going through unsettling times.

Proceed proactively with your vision and your goals. You will always have distractions and obstacles that come up, but proceed anyway. Nothing can stand in the way of a person who knows where he/she is going. I say this to you, but it is for my benefit as well. I am guilty of letting the day-to-day frustrations and doubts get in the way of achieving my goals. I have to remember that what I do has value, and that nobody said it would be easy. They said it would be challenging, exciting, rewarding and stimulating ... but not easy! However, I know that when you proactively move in the direction of your vision, you do those activities that get you closer to achieving it. Each success you have on your way to realizing your vision is a building block to more success. I am going through this process myself. I have been asked to be a "guest minister" for a large congregation and to give an inspirational talk at the end of this month. Speaking from the pulput is out of my comfort level, but something in my gut told me to do this. It will give me an opportunity to take the message I bring to the corporate world and re-frame the context for a different type of audience. I believe that in the process, I will learn more about myself as well. So ... I have to read what I wrote to you and take it in myself. A wise person once told me "We teach best what we need to learn." How true.

If you have any insights or feedback on this Newsletter, I would love to hear from you. Please e-mail me at   If you wish to pass this Newsletter along to a colleague, friend or family member who may find it of value, feel free to do so. If this person would like to receive the Newsletter, e-mail me with the address, and I will put the name on my database. Have a wonderful month.

About the Author

Barbara Mintzer is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant with over 30 years in business and health care. She speaks from experience! Her how-to programs provide participants with immediately applicable skills and strategies for getting buy-in and commitment from staff and staying on top of their professions in today's competitive and constantly changing workplace. Barbara presents keynote talks and breakout sessions for international, national, regional and state Conferences. She also conducts management retreats and in-house seminars. She facilitates panel discussions and roundtables at the same meeting...a good investment for your meeting budget. To explore the possibility of having Barbara speak at your next event, or work with your staff/leadership team, please contact her office.

Phone: (805) 964-7546
FAX: (805) 964-9636

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