Winning joyfully

You haven’t really lived John Kotter’s 8 steps for leading change until you’ve experienced Step 6: Generating Short Term Wins.

If you haven’t experienced it, let me share a bit of what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like.

You open your e-mail to find your inbox a buzz with messages darting back and forth among a team.  Unlike the typical team e-mails of deadlines, frustrations, and finger pointing, these team members are debriefing–quite happily–the launch of their program from the day before.  As each e-mail comes in you see more exclamation points, and they are exclamation points of true excitement, used to set off real exclamations of joy.  I love those e-mails.

You hear the wins in the way their voices light up as they talk about what they accomplished, how they can do even better next time, and even what didn’t work that can be corrected.  The atmosphere is open, people are supportive and the culture of mutual support rings out through their voices.

You feel the win because you can sense that this is a place you want to be, to stay, to be a part of.  You can feel the team drawing closer together as they talk about how to go after their next win.  They want the feeling again that they had yesterday, the feeling of a purpose fulfilled.

Winning joyfully isn’t the first step though.  It is the culmination of the earlier five steps (Acting with Urgency, Developing the Guiding Coalition, Developing a Change Vision, Communicating the Vision, and Empowering Broad Based Action).

If you drive change, you too can rapidly progress through those early steps and explode toward your own joyful wins.  All you need to do is:

1. Create the  urgency inside yourself to create the change,

2. Share your urgency with others who will then voluntarily join your cause,

3.  Create a vision with them (e.g., By October we will have done…),

4.  Share that vision with the people you need working with you and supporting you, and

5.  Start acting–do something!–to bring about that vision and ultimately get your own joyful win.

It is possible.

I’ve seen teams of every level in an organization and in organizations of all types follow this pattern and create their own joyful wins.

I bet you can too.

Why not try?

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