We are in
the process of selling our home.
been our home for 10 years; where Lewis and I began our
lives together. It is where we brought our little
Leila home after our tedious and long journey to
Russia. It is where she learned to walk as she
scampered from window to window watching Lewis come
home. It is also where we had innumerable get-togethers
with aging parents and dear friends. And finally,
it is where I poured my love of beauty as I shaped and
massaged its walls and floors to showcase art, furniture
and worldly treasures.
even as we move just 5 short blocks down the street,
dealing with impending change can either root
you to the same spot, keeping you stuck, or send you
into an emotional tailspin of fear and
been on both sides of that coin. Sometimes even on
the same day.
journey to take that final step of severing ties with
this wonderful home has reminded me of how it felt after
15 years of service when I left my former employer to
venture out on my own. It is clear that
all too often our grips are tight. Sometimes too
tight. Whether it be on a job we have, the place
we live, the position we hold, or the project we
We hold on
with white-knuckled strength, often to the detriment of
ourselves and to longer term opportunities.
When our grip is tight our focus is on the past
and on maintaining the status quo, making it difficult
to see and create a better
Collins has written a new book titled "Great by
Choice." In this book, he has studied leaders who
have led and succeeded during these chaotic,
ever-changing and difficult times. He
compares them to leaders who were subject to the same
external conditions and yet, didn't succeed. This
comparison allows him to determine the critical factors
that really differentiate those successful
may think that his findings concluded that the
successful leaders were more bold, risk-takers who were
more likely to take leaps into the unknown than those
who were not successful.
he discovered the opposite was true.
leaders who succeeded, despite changing circumstances,
were able to observe what worked, figured out
why things worked as they did and built upon proven ways
going forward. In essence, they were more
pragmatic and disciplined in their
approach. They minimized reacting
emotionally to the impending changes around them; not
blindly following others or just reacting
could say they distanced themselves from the emotional
hold of the past or the emotional fear of the
unknown. They only looked back to get the lessons
learned in order to help craft the future on a similar
So as I
take this journey, and you take similar journeys filled
with change remember these key points:
are the constant in a sea of change.
All of the elements that make a house a home are all
coming along with me. Just like when one leaves
one company to start a new venture somewhere else, you
take with you all of the elements that can make this
new role a career.
that a tight grip is usually based on
fear. Fear of not being able to create
in the future what you have already created in the
past. Take the time to understand what worked in
the past and why it worked. Build a similar
foundation in the future to apply this approach
adjusting accordingly to changing needs and
pliable and flexible. Grips are not
flexible, they are rigid. When you feel the
tightening of your attitude, and the gripping of your
outlook, remember that part of the journey is to
see that more can be gained with openness than with a
have never been one to be able to just leap...hoping
that a net would miraculously appear. So I have
been thrilled to learn that those who do succeed in the
face of extreme change do in fact leap into the unknown,
but they succeed not because they leap but because they
have also taken the time to carefully craft their
Jim Collins. I am loosening my grip and am busy
crafting my net.
you wondering what your next step should be?
Consider one-on-one business
coaching to help you get clear on what's next and how to
position yourself for success. Contact Laura for
and personalized coaching.
Lopez is an award-winning author of The
Connected and Committed Leader.
She is also a consultant, and a Birkman Method
certified business coach who has been featured on the
Today Show and Fox News.
addition, her accomplishments have been highlighted in
several business periodicals
including Personal Excellence, The Long Beach
Business Journal, The Houston Chronicle, Latina
Magazine, and Central Valley Business Times. Her
articles on management and leadership are regularly seen
in Leadership Excellence.
can be contacted via her Web site at: