5 Leadership Methods to Start Preparing for an Eventual Ending

My last Sunday at Woodstock City Church was August 1.

I’ve had that date circled on my calendar for several months.

It can feel that the race to end well begins when an ending date is defined. The ending date sets a public finish line, giving you a target to run strong through the tape.

Unfortunately, and to stick with the race analogy, finishing well is more about race preparation than the race itself. The finish line may mark the end of your time in the organization, but your race success is determined long before the race even begins.

You probably aren’t leaving your church or company soon, but you will one day. If you want to end well, you need to prepare now. Your leadership race to end well begins today.

In this NEW POST, I outline 5 leadership methods to start preparing for an eventual ending.

I realize it doesn’t feel urgent, but it’s extremely important. When you do eventually transition, you’ll be so grateful you began preparing now.

How can I help?

Coaching ministry and marketplace leaders through change, transition, and transformation is why I created Transformation Solutions. Let me know if I can serve you and your team as you work to make things better and make better things.

6 Secrets to End Well so You Can Start Strong

My last Sunday at Woodstock City Church is August 1.

It’s a new beginning, but like all new beginnings, it comes with an ending.

The band Semisonic had it right: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”

In this NEW ARTICLE, I discuss the reality of endings in light of new beginnings.

This is important for any and every version of change. Change introduces something new, which means it may end something old. When we don’t end well, we struggle to start strong.

Rather than resist change or new beginnings, we need to learn better strategies for endings.

With that in mind, here are 6 Strategies to End Well so You Can Start Strong.

Also, being as I’m living through this right now, I added some personal reflection on how I am trying to end well so I can start strong on August 2.

The Importance of Transition Leadership During Change Management

Change and transition are not the same.

Change is the new set of circumstances or the new situation we desire. Change represents the end result of a successful organizational effort. Examples include creating a new department, changing the organizational structure, moving to a new location, or launching a new product or offering. All of these are significant changes.

Transition, on the other hand, is the set of people-oriented experiences that precede change. If change is about new circumstances, transition is the emotional, psychological, and spiritual adjustments people go through as change is implemented. Change needs to be managed, where transitions need to be led. 

Understanding the difference makes all the difference.

Planning for Organizational Change: Most leaders are relatively adept at planning for change. At the highest level, a change management plan starts with the desired outcome. It then works backward, step by step, to create the necessary preconditions for that outcome. These preconditions are primarily situational and circumstantial. 

Planning for Emotional Transition: Most leaders stop at the change management plan. We know where we currently are (Sunday School), we know where we want to be (small groups), and we have a plan to get there (change management plan). But most likely, without a transition plan, this change would be only partially successful with a wake of bodies behind us. Unlike change management, transition leadership starts with where people are and works forward, step by step, through the process of leaving the past behind, getting through the confusion of change, and emerging with new attitudes, behaviors, and identities. If change is the new circumstance (small groups), transition is the psychological process to get people there. This is incredibly important to understand, as every change ultimately involves and is initiated, experienced, and adopted by people.

Conclusion: Most of us are good at identifying what needs to change. And we’re relatively proficient at developing change management plans. But what separates those who desire change versus those who can lead to change is the ability to see and integrate transition plans. Get this right, and you’ll not only achieve the desired change, but you’ll bring the support of most people along with you.

How can I help?

Helping ministry and marketplace leaders through change, transition, and transformation is why I created Transformation Solutions. Go right now to mytransformationsolutions.com and sign up for a free, 30-minute conversation to decide if working together works for you.

How Unmanaged Transition Makes Transformation Unmanageable

I believe a primary cause of transformation failure is the lack of people management throughout the journey.

Too often leaders begin a change by instituting a strategy that neglects the psychological and emotional experiences of the people involved. This oversite is catastrophic for any change or transformation effort.

In this new post, I explain the four emotional states of transition that every leader must manage along the transformation journey.

This should only take you 3 minutes to read. I hope it’s helpful as you consider any changes or organizational transformations ahead.

The One Insight That Makes Change Happen


Hey again.

I came across this quote from Jeff Igor’s book “Leading Major Change in Your Ministry” while doing my doctoral studies. It caused me to think… a lot.

“Foundational to helping people through major change is this seminal idea: change is different than transition. Change is the new circumstances introduced into organizational life, i.e., a new staffing plan going into effect on a specific date. Transition, on the other hand, is the emotional, psychological, and spiritual adjustments people go through when change is implemented.”

I’m still thinking about it. So much that I decided to write some more about change in light of this concept.

If you can, check it out and leave me a comment to help launch a conversation.