The childhood game of musical chairs grew increasingly difficult as I got older. Kids got a lot stronger, as did the strategy to win! It reminds me of an organizational shake-up or acquisition. From above, it looks like the team members are going the same direction while moving to the same music. But, when the music stops, a competitive nature is revealed. Someone is left standing without a seat (or a job)!
What similarities are there between musical chairs and corporate reorganization?
- Anticipate the Music: In musical chairs, you want to be friends with the person in charge of the music! In the real world, you need to be in sync with decision makers. I learned the hard way, you also need to be friends with those that influence the decision makers.
- Pick a Good Chair: While playing musical chairs, you position yourself close to the chair you can slide into. (Which in some cases may be behind you.) In the real world, you should be very aware of where you might fit into the organization chart. Track this daily!
- Firmly Commit: As a child, I felt sorry for the person sitting next to me on a chair. “Oh, you can have my spot. I’m good enough to get the next chair.” But, I was never fast enough to get a second seat! In the real world, positions are also limited. You must demonstrate your strengths, express your value to the organization, and never relinquish your spot!
- Stay in the Game: Each musical chair game is a new game. In the real world, it’s discouraging to be underemployed or still working towards your potential. Treat each day as a new day and never, ever, give up!
Stay connected to those that can influence your future role. Pay attention to small indications of change and know where you fit. Prepare for new roles and stand your ground. Today is new and tomorrow is better, if you are persistent.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She hosts global masterminds, called Synergy Groups, for REALLY BUSY Christians leading with powerful confidence and humble hearts. She works with high-performing leaders focused on organizational effectiveness by refining strategy, inspiring teams, and delighting clients. Michelle specializes in the areas of information technology, project management, franchise management, and business as mission. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 22 years.