Separation

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The first of the three stages of inner transition that accompany the outer journey to your vision is called separation.

This stage is about letting go of people, places, or things that have been important to you until now but which will not be part of your vision going forward. It is about letting go of life as it was, so that you can get ready for life as it is going to be.

Navigating this phase well is not only about letting go of what is being left behind, but also about building commitment and focus for what will come next.

In brief, this involves reflecting on and recognising what the previous phase of your life has brought to you but which is now over, and giving thanks for this. It means reminding yourselves (both you and your team) why the new vision is being chosen as the best way forward, in spite of the losses that will result.

It means being clear about the skills, contacts, and other resources that were part of the past life and will be taken forward with you. And most especially it means identifying the values and principles that underly what has been important to you in the past, so that these can be built even more strongly into the new vision going forward.

Steering through this phase well involves symbol and ritual as well as rationality. And as a leader you will be called upon to centre and ground yourself and to speak authentically on behalf of yourself and others to say what needs to be said.

Handled well, this phase will enable you to move forward, and to do so with redoubled vigour. Handled poorly, you and your team may find yourselves held back by grief.

Chapter 7 contains more details.

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The next stage is called the liminal stage, from the Latin word for ‘threshold’.

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