I’m very frustrated right now…” – Theodore R. Mills, age 3
This past week, my three-year-old son has been using this phrase over and over again. You see, he’s at that age where what he want to accomplish outstrips his ability to accomplish it. He can’t get what or where he wants at his pace, and for him those delays are maddening.
What can a three-year-old teach you about driving change?
When you’re frustrated, it’s okay to say so.
Too many times I’ve seen change leaders walking around with a perpetual smiles on their faces, trying valiantly to hide their frustrations from their team members. News flash! You’re not fooling anyone; we can tell you are frustrated.
If you’re feeling frustrated that means you still have passion for your change. I’d be more worried if, when you were stopped or stalled, you didn’t seem to notice. No passion and no emotion means no energy to get past the obstacles and on to victory.
Typically, after Theodore tells me he’s very frustrated, I ask him, “What should we do about that?” Then, together, we come up with some clever ideas to get him past his frustration. Why not try the same with your change. Admit you’re frustrated and ask your team, “What can we do to get past this? How can we get moving again?”
Enjoy their answers, try some out, and keep driving change.