How do I approach change?
As part of an organization undergoing a complete transformation, I know of no better way to start preparing myself than to consider how I can be valuable in this massive change effort. I gave intentional thought to my personal gifts and how I might use these to help Aspire fulfill its new Mission and Vision. Even though we all have gifts, I felt odd writing mine down. But, here’s what I learned: one of the gifts I identified was “Intention.” I believe the decision to live intentionally brings energy and focus to a single moment, a day, and a lifetime! It is what I carry with me wherever I go. Success is 100% guaranteed!
Intention is the opposite of expectation. The former is internal; the latter is external. It is within my power and control to think, feel, and act the way I intend. Expectation, on the other hand, is what I hope will happen, of which I have absolutely no control.
I wrote a short story that helped me understand this concept better. It was a story about Dexter and Darin, two brothers who travelled as construction workers across the midwest. While they were identical twins in looks, they were very opposite in how they experienced life around them. After the completion of one particular job, they were eager to explore the local scene. Dexter was expecting to meet people his own age and party the night away. Darin intended to enjoy the evening no matter what happened.
They arrived at the only local tavern in town and sat at the bar to order their favorite beer. They were shocked to hear the bartender state that no alcohol was being served that night, as the place was rented out to a private party. However, he welcomed the boys and suggested they stay for awhile. Darin laughed out loud and took the soda that was placed down before him. Dexter grumbled and turned his back on the disappointing beverage.
As Dexter spun around, he saw only the ladies of The Red Hat Society! He became furious and stomped out of the bar. Things were not going as expected! Darin on the other hand, took it all in stride. He had intended to enjoy himself that evening, so he found the ladies to be fun-loving and sweet as could be. It was icing on the cake when a beautiful young woman arrived to bring eyeglasses to her grandmother. Darin spent the rest of the evening charming her as the older women tended to their card games.
Even on a good day, our line of work throws many unexpected things our way. During this time of unprecedented change, it is even more important that all of us check our expectations. Our vision to become an integrated health system will not be easy and things will not go as expected. Our roles, processes, relationships, duties, etc. will all change, sometimes multiple times before we get it right. There will surely be miscommunications as we work to figure things out on this journey. I encourage all of us to approach each day as Darin, someone who operates with intention about how he thinks, feels, and acts, vs. Dexter, someone who sets expectations over which he has no control and ends up frustrated or disappointed. Remember, it will take all of us to be successful in our vision. Together…we are making health and well-being a reality!