W47D2 - Change

"He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true'" - Revelation 21:5.

If God is making everything new, it means He is in the change business, transforming all things from how they were to how they are going to be. Therefore, change is not something to be tolerated or engaged when there is a crisis, but rather change must be seen as a business and life strategy. Technology progresses, people come and go, one market opens  and another closes down, a calamity affects world markets, and princes and politicians assume power and are deposed. Wise and effective leaders understand that they deal in change and help their organizations and the people in them to adjust to and prepare for the reality of change.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to examine your own attitude toward change to see if you consider it an inconvenience or a God-ordained way of life. Do you talk about the good old days or have you kept up with the latest trends in technology and social media? Do you decide regularly to preserve the status quo or do you lead change initiatives to improve and modernize your operations and business strategies? Are you resisting inevitable changes in any area? Do you understand that the decision to do nothing is in and of itself a decision with implications?

W42D2 - Change

"Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building" - Ezra 4:4.

When the Jews started to rebuild and repopulate Jerusalem, there were people with vested interests who tried to hinder the process. That is usually how it goes when people and leaders try to plan and implement change. Their tactics are almost always the same, for the opponents of change use forecasts of doom and failure to intimidate and instill fear into the change agents. When this occurs, leaders must continue to remind followers of the reasons for the change and how it fits into the overall vision and flows with values of the organization. While opponents use fear, leaders must 'preach' faith; when opponents use discouragement, leaders must find ways to encourage those doing the change work.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to determine if fear or discouragement are plaguing the change initiatives in your organization. Since people may not yet see the results of the change, you must paint a vivid picture of the new reality you are pursuing as a team. How, where, and when can you do this? Perhaps it's time to revisit the reasons for the changes or to encourage one another by celebrating small victories or successes along the way.

W37D2 - Change

"Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials,
to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the
royal family and the nobility—young men without any physical
defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning,
well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the
king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature
of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food
and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three
years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service" - Daniel 1:3-5.

In today's passage, we read how Daniel and his friends were transported from their homeland of Judah and brought to Babylon. Because they had much potential, they were chosen to be leaders and placed into a three-year development program. They had to learn a new language, new culture, and a new way of living with new 'foreign' names. After that, they were to enter a management training program that involved direct service to the king, the same king who had ransacked their homeland and killed family and friends. Leaders not only have to lead and manage change, they must deal with and embrace change in their own personal and leadership lives.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Today's Leadership Step is to read all of Daniel 1 with your journal close by. As you read, ask the Lord to show you the depth and pain of the transition that Daniel endured. What price did Daniel pay for leadership? What other changes in addition to the ones mentioned above did he encounter? What was Daniel's main concern when he began his training? Describe his attitude. What do you see that can help you with your own approach to change?

W32D2 - Change

"But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute,
with her family and all who belonged to her,
because she hid the men Joshua had sent as
spies to Jericho—and she lives among the
Israelites to this day" - Joshua 6:25.

Rahab protected and saved the Israelite spies, and her reward was that her family’s lives were spared. She had to undergo massive changes, however, for she had to transfer cultures from where she had been to live with Israel in order to live. What helped Rahab deal with the change was that her life was in danger. Leaders must help followers understand the need for and price of change when the stakes aren’t so high. While the need for change may not be as severe as it was for Rahab, adapting and accepting change is still an important part of survival at both an individual and corporate level.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to focus on a change that you need to institute at the corporate or family level. First, be clear on what change you seek. Second, determine what it will look like when the change is implemented. Third, decide how you will communicate both the need for the change and how the change is progressing. Finally, how will you know if you were successful?

W27D2 - Change

"There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
       a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
       a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build . . ." Ecclesiastes 3:1-3.

This well-known passage from Ecclesiastes reminds readers that life is full of activities and events that are diametrically opposed to one another. Being born and dying are at opposite ends of the life spectrum and involve a series of changes leading from one to the other. The changes are severe, however, and each change in these verses represents an end or a new beginning. Leaders must help followers deal with change and sometimes that change is terminal - the end of a product, service or staff position. When something ends, it doesn't indicate that someone made a mistake; it is simply part of the cycle of life and death, beginning and end.

LEADERSHIP STEP: If you are like most leaders, you love 'life' but avoid 'death' - you embrace the new but dread ending something that has been an important part of so many lives. You may even be avoiding the termination of someone on your team whom you love, but whose time to end their current position has come. Your Step today is to face the fact that there is a time for everything and to initiate that change with courage and resolve, even though you know it will cause pain.

W22D2 - Change

"So when Peter went up to Jerusalem,
the circumcised believers criticized him
and said, 'You went into the house of
uncircumcised men and ate with them'" - Acts 11:2-3

Peter was the leader of the apostles and had been directed by the Lord to go to visit a Gentile in Caeserea. When Peter returned home, he was met by a contingent of Jewish believers who were upset with him that he had spent so much time with a Gentile, which was against Jewish custom. Peter was leading the church into change and not everyone was happy about it. Leaders must often do what Peter did and leaders often get the same response that Peter got - resistance, criticism, and second-guessing. Yet if progress is going to be made, leaders must master the elements of organizational change.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Is there a change (minor or major) in your organization that you want and need to institute? Your Step today is to formulate a plan for seeing that change through from start to finish. Pay particular attention to how you will communicate that change, for as you can see from today's passage, Peter had to spend a lot of face time with people explaining his rationale and motive for doing what he did. You will probably have to do the same.

W17D2 - Change

"Then a voice told him, 'Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'
'Surely not, Lord!' Peter replied. 'I have never eaten
anything impure or unclean'" - Acts 10:13-14.

Up to this point in time, Peter had maintained a kosher diet according to Old Testament Law. Then a voice from heaven told him to change his diet and he said, "No!"  Even though it was a heavenly directive, he was being asked to change a lifelong pattern and it represented not an opportunity but a loss in his eyes. When leaders announce well-thought-out change initiatives, people can often respond in the same manner. The leaders can then be offended or perceive the followers as negative or uncooperative.

LEADERSHIP STEP: If you are leading change, you must provide support services for those most directly affected, whether it's a move for your family or a new product for your company. Your Step today is to sit down and listen to those being impacted by any change and better understand what kind of support you can provide for them. Perhaps you need to change your attitude toward those who are resisting the change so you can find out and understand why.

W12D2 - Change

". . . who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind . . . " - Psalm 15:4.

Leaders often lead change initiatives, which may involve changes in marketing, strategy, services, products or personnel. One thing leaders cannot and should not change is their commitments. In the midst of change, integrity, promises and commitments to customers and employees must be honored or else leaders forfeit one of their most precious and important leadership commodities, which is integrity. Today's verse stresses how important keeping one's word is to the Lord and one's relationship with Him.

LEADERSHIP STEP: As your organization navigates the seas of change, today you should consider the things you will never change, which are your commitments and values. How well do you keep your word? Do you say "I'll get back to you" and then don't? Take 15 minutes and reflect on your personal and corporate integrity, and see if there is any room for changing your follow through on commitments and vows.

W7D2 - Change

"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and
put a new spirit within you; and I will remove
the heart of stone from your flesh and give
you a heart of flesh" - Ezekiel 36:26.

God is in the change business, so to speak. He initiates changes in culture and history on a macro scale, but then He is also in the business of changing hearts, one person at a time. This means that people can change, learning new things that will alter their perspective and then their behavior. Leaders must have faith people can change with God's help, and that is why leaders conduct performance reviews, send people to counseling and workshops, and assign them mentors and coaches. Of course, leaders must model this first, showing their followers they are willing to change right along with them.

LEADERSHIP STEP: What is your attitude toward change? Do you think it's possible for people, including you, to change? If you do, then let's map out a plan today for change. Today you will have a difficult conversation with someone in your world who needs to alter his or her attitude or action. First, you must confront them, but then help them by mapping out a plan that will enable the change to take place. Then follow the same procedure for yourself.

W2D2 - Change

"He who was seated on the throne said,
'I am making everything new!' Then he
said, 'Write this down, for these words
are trustworthy and true'" - Revelation 21:5.

Change and progress are God's idea. Man often perverts the purpose for the change for selfish reasons, but change is a positive and God-inspired thing. Leaders lead change initiatives, first providing a vivid picture or vision of the new reality and the reasons for pursuing it. Then they help equip people to be successful in the changes. Leaders who have a godly perspective on change can count on His help in the process.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Perhaps it's time to consider a change initiative in your family or organization. Are you prepared to lead that change? Before you do, make sure you are clear about what kind of change you want. So take some time today to write or sketch out the change. What will it look like when it's done? Be specific, so then you can graphically explain the end you have in mind with those who will be impacted and affected.