We have been moving house, the first time in over twenty years and I’m glad we waited. I can’t imagine doing this regularly. Admittedly, we had twenty years of stuff to move, donate or dispose of. A task that has seemed more daunting than some of the mountains I’ve climbed. At the same time I’ve learned a lot and it has some similarities to common leadership challenges I see. Here are five leadership learnings.
#1 You have to move with the change.
We moved to a much smaller house and with it comes a change in mindset. There is much less space to store things. We have much less privacy and we get to spend more time together. Change is a constant theme but when it happens we expect to carry on as though nothing has happened. Instead, we will be better served to think about how we need to change to align with the changes around us.
#2 Don’t avoid making the tough decisions.
I held on to too many things that I was never going to use again. It was easier to find a space to store it than decide to give it up. We do this every day with our ‘to do’ lists. They contain a list of things we’d like to get to but for many we never will. We are better served to make the tough decision and say no.
#3 Something unplanned will happen.
It always will. None of us can predict the future perfectly and there will always be surprises. Mine was disconnecting the washing machine to find the faucet leaked. Not great when you are getting ready to sell the house and have painters starting. At the same time, we couldn’t have predicted it so we dealt with it. No big deal in the end but we could have made it so much bigger and more stressful. Do you know what I mean?
#4 It will get worse before it gets better.
When we started packing, it was almost fun and it felt rewarding. Over time this feeling diminished until I started to wonder if we would ever be done. We seemed to have endless amounts of things stashed in every space in the house. We did empty the house and in the end it felt good. When you take on something difficult, it may be exciting at first but it will get tough. Remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
#5 Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Perhaps the most important. When you are working through a challenge, it is easy to get down on yourself. We get tired and irritable, at least I do. We are probably not at our best. It’s ok because we are human. This doesn’t mean its ok to be a jerk, but we also needn’t chastise ourselves for anything that goes wrong. It’s part of the journey.
I hope your moving house experience was less stressful than mine. If it wasn’t, I hope you learned something from it!