If the angels could have sat you down for a chat when you were on the way in to this life (among some other comments about love, fear, and your glory), they might have said this:
Now, my dear, a little context: you are entering into a transitional time.
The past: A world led, designed and defined by men.
The future: A world led, designed and defined by women and men.
The present: The transition. Yes, we’ve put you on the transition team.
I’ve been captivated by this notion of all of us being on the transition team.
Imagine you were hired into a company to job x – let’s say to manage the marketing team. You notice that the old way of doing things at the company doesn’t work so great. In small pockets of the business, you see a new way of doing things emerging – a way that makes a lot more sense. You keep hearing side conversation where people are talking about the business in such a wiser, healthier way than what you hear in the mainstream conversations.
But none of this is so relevant to you: your job is just to be the marketing manager.
But if you had been hired for a different kind of role? What if you’d been told, yes, your job is to manage the marketing team, but also, to be a key player on the transition team, as the company moves from the old way to the new way?
If you knew that, you’d do everything differently.
You’d communicate and coordinate with other people on the transition team.
You’d look for opportunities for everyone to taste the new way.
You’d look for opportunities for people to feel how the old way was limiting them.
You’d expect resistance from those invested in the old way, and you’d accept it as a part of the process.
On an emotional level, your experience of the two jobs would be very different. In the first scenario, you’d probably be exasperated by the push-pull between the old way and the new way. You might experience it as a kind of whiplash. But if you knew you were on the transition team, you’d see that push-pull between old and new ways as an evolutionary stage of a process that was leading somewhere. You’d breathe, smile, and keep going.
So, today I invite you to walk through your work, whatever it is, in some new shoes. Step into the idea that you are on the transition team, here to help forge the path from a world led, defined, and designed by men to a world led, defined and designed by women and men. It’s part of your role to help women’s authentic voices, women’s wisdom, women’s ways of working, become a guiding force in your corner of the world.
Or course, a major cultural transformation is different than an organizational change. The transition we are really speaking about will be less organized than an organizational change would be. It will be more distributed, more bottoms-up, and made up of thousands of strategies, not a centrally developed one. But the metaphor of a “transition team” inside an organization can help us imagine our work and our roles in this more oceanic transition.
If you step into that role as being on the transition team, how do the challenges you face at work and life look differently?
How do the things that drive you crazy feel different?
How does your role change?
How does your engagement in your work and life change?