Hey Junkies! Long Time, No Chat!
Thought I might offer a quick lesson from my days in corporate America (15 years to be exact) to everyone in Miss-America-land who’s still looking at the current organization like a cow looking at a new gate (little mid-west analogy there for you – wink wink).
As a leader, I fully understand transitions. I walked into 3 different offices as the “new chick on the block.” That means 3 separate times, I had 3 different sets of employees look me up and down as I was introduced as their new leader, in 3 different locations. The first time I had no idea what I was doing. The second time, I got lucky and KILLED it without knowing what I was doing. The third time, I consciously applied everything I’d learned from the first and second time, and the transition was smooth as silk.
Here’s what I know…
During the transitions, there’s one phrase I repeated over and over and over again – and each time I did, the better everything became. That magical phrase was…
I was like a broken record. I’d always spend the first 3 months telling employees, “It’s ok” dozens and dozens of times a day.
If you think about it, “It’s ok” is a very reassuring phrase… When you add a lot of natural empathy and tonality to the phrase, most people are able to exhale and relax.
Now, to be honest, I’ve never tried it in writing – so this entire experiment might fall flat on its face in a matter of moments… But I’m ready to do my best!
If you don’t like the new headshots from each of the state titleholders with their open smiles, hands near the face, looking off into the distance instead of at the camera, it’s ok.
If you don’t like the press release that went out about how “educated women” don’t parade around in swimsuits (feel free to google it) regarding a new scholarship offered, it’s ok.
If you don’t like the fact that prelims are now only 2 nights instead of 3 – or that the ticket structure to attend is different than in years past – or that Miss America is going to be held December 19th at a Casino in Connecticut, it’s ok.
When I said, “It’s ok” all those times over all those years, it’s because I wanted people to know I understood. When a new leader walks in the room, people have the right to decide if they want to follow the new leader or not. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to see what direction the leadership is going in order to make an informed decision. But regardless, that decision itself always comes down to the follower’s right to continue following – or deciding to go in a different direction.
And it’s ok.
Here’s what I know. If you’re not satisfied with the current leadership of MAO, it’s ok.
However – here’s what I also know.
Sooner or later, you’re going to have to make up your mind if you’re going to stay, or if you’re going to go in a different direction. And I’ll remind you again – As a follower, you are the one who has the power.
As for me (and for Pageant Junkies) – I’ve decided to stay.
Am I 100% on board with everything that’s happened over the past 22 months?
But as of today, I’m ok with my decision to move ahead and follow where Miss America is going.
How did this happen? Well – I watched my state competition last summer and to be honest, a real “ah-ha” moment hit me. It’s as if I could actually “see” what the organization was trying to do – instead of trying to “understand” what the organization was trying to do. When I realized the difference, I realized I could be on board. Took a while for me to make a final decision, but eventually, I did.
There’s no pressure for you to make up your mind today – I just thought today was a good day to tell you where I stand and why.
To me, it’s not about gaining/losing followers or being called whatever names people may wish to call me… It’s about the decision I’ve made, with the power I have as a follower. I’ve decided to stay.
And please know – Whatever you decide – Whenever you decide,
Debbie Brewer says
I too have had those “ah ha!” moments in the past year. So while some have left, I’ve decided to stay, and open two local titles. It’s so true, IT’S OK!
Anne FLINDERS says
Thanks for this perspective. Something to really think about.
Lenn Long says
The Captain on the Titanic probably said “ It’s OK!! “ a few times as well…. we see how well that worked out… Carrie I’m struggling in many ways with MAO. The removal of swimsuit effectively removed one area of competition for me as far as photography is concerned. I’m actually predicting next year they ask contestants to submit selfies as contestant headshots. The business model as a pageant photographer for MAO is getting pretty bleak.