Friday, February 02, 2007

Cannonball!

There are two approaches to getting in a pool. One, is to go to the shallow end and slowly walk down the steps into the pool (a lot of moms with the swimsuit/skirt things on do it this way). The other can best be summarized in one word: CANNONBALL! Caution to the wind, come what may, jump right in, who cares if sunbathers get splashed (this is the method of 10 year old boys...and 33 years old men who act like they're 10). There are two kinds of leaders when it comes to change. There are those that go to the shallow end and start wading in, testing the water, waiting to acclimate before they go a little deeper. The other kind cannonballs and lets everything settle as it may. Sometimes the "wade in" approach seems to work best -- it allows people to acclimate slowly to change -- there's plenty of time to adjust, change the way you think, grow into the new reality. Other times, cannonballing is the way to go -- just mess things up, make the change swift and then get to the business of settling the water back down. Sometimes the "wade in" approach loses people -- they get anxious, impatient -- the want it to happen faster. Sometimes the cannonball approach destroys people because it doesn't give them time to process, time to change, time to acclimate before the new reality takes over...
  • Which are you -- wader or cannonballer?
  • How do you know when to do which?

6 comments:

Megan Crow said...

I am definetly a wader. But I don't wear a skirted swimsuit. And it's not a question of when to wade or not...I always wade. So what does that say about me?

Screwtape said...

Things turn out better when I wade, but I prefer cannonball.

JGanschow said...

cannon.

Beth B said...

depends on the change that needs to happen. if it something that needs immediate attention and action, cannonball all the way, get it done nad make things better. if it is something that i want to try out, i wade, i do the "let's try this for a month and see what happens." thing. they both have thier place.

Dan Luebcke said...

wader...is all about what's already been there - the people, the programs, the ethos, the attention isn't on you.

cannonball...is all about the size of the butt of the person jumping in...making it all about them...all of the attention on them, look at me!

I prefer to wade and then jump as high as I can out of the water back into it.

I have a small butt.

dave said...

I tend to wade in. Thought I would like to become more of a cannonballer.

The times that I have had to take a cannonball approach to change, I also take the "everything is an experiment" approach (via National Community Church. That seems to make quick change a little easier to swallow for some people.