Transitions tell us things we didn’t know before, such as what’s working and what’s not. They also force us to change some things, whether in location or relationships or flow. That combination is powerful. Because when we know more than we did before, and we’re moving in some way, we have the chance to adjust our direction (to change where we’re going) or our speed (to get there when we want).

And that’s the case whether we’ve invited the transition or it’s been, um, invited upon us.

Nothing’s more important here than clarity, whether the transitions involve one person or an organization of thousands. Clarity of self-knowledge, clarity of goals, clarity of plan, clarity of commitment. If we kid ourselves about anything, our actions will be untrusted and ineffective. We won’t trust ourselves, or our teams won’t trust us. Nothing will happen that we want to happen, or if it does it won’t last.

Listening, then, is far more important than talking. Asking questions of ourselves and others; listening with open minds and total focus; asking more questions built upon the first answers. This is the work that will help us decide what to say—to ourselves or our organizations.

And then…more listening.