I had the great fortune to run into someone on Friday night who truly despised me and my life’s work at Challenger Baseball. Quick backstory, I help run the largest special needs baseball league in the country. During my reign of terror we have increased the league size from 60 players to over 260 and convinced Little League to allow us to accept adult players. It has been the best work of my life even if it involves considerable time coordinating communication during our off season and knowing that I will never vacation during our time on the fields. So back to my story, we ran into a former player and his dad on Friday night. My husband knows that I recognize faces but sometimes can’t place the exact circumstance of how I know a person. I engaged with the dad and his son when he started into a tirade about how much the league has lost and changed since the early days. He managed to have every single fact wrong and seemed to have a lot of anger over how things turned out. Considering we were in a hallway of Applebee’s and both of our children were there, I tried to gently correct his views but he was not very accepting of my truth. My husband was trying to steer us away from this conversation when luck would have it, their buzzer went off and they got seated. Whew! Thank you Applebee’s! But that is when I realized, change isn’t for everyone and somewhere in this world people are hating on everyone from the Pope to Betty White.
If you are in charge of growing your business, chances are that will involve change for everyone, including your employees, your clients and the people you engage with on a daily basis. Decisions have to be made and time must be managed. If you are clear about your goals, those decisions should be just as clear, but it will involve pissing people off somewhere. It is far easier to take the path where no one is ever unhappy, but your growth won’t come as easily. So be ready to have some unhappy folks, be as kind and generous with them as you can, but eventually let that Applebee’s buzzer go off in your head, knowing that you can’t please everyone.
I am confident that the good we’ve done is overwhelmingly winning over the grumbles of an unfortunate few. And I’m sure the changes you make today will cause angst among the change haters. But be brave, because in the end, it is worth it!