Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
John F. Kennedy
Do you ever wish things could remain the same for a while? Do you feel like there’s too much change? Do you wish it could just slow down, even if just for a while? To give you a chance to catch up?
Yes, we probably all have those wishes at times.
Change is all around us though, it’s our constant companion – and for reasons such as fast technical development and globalisation – the speed of change is only getting faster.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Don’t worry about it. Relax. Make change your friend. No change is necessarily good or bad – it’s only how we choose to look at it that makes it so. So we may as well look for the opportunities in change. Look at change as a door opener, a valuable companion that creates opportunities.
When change is a given, when we cannot change that, then we need to accept it, embrace it and make it work. We need to become proactive – because through proactivity comes a sense of control, which has a calming and strengthening impact on us.
It is also good to question change, to challenge it when needed, to explore and find answers – because there will be times when a proposed change is not the best solution. But when change is a given, when we cannot change that, then we need to accept it, embrace it and make it work. We need to become proactive – because through proactivity comes a sense of control, which has a calming and strengthening impact on us. This in turn makes it easier to deal with the change.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
To be able to deal with change, to lead and manage it, is an evergreen leadership skill, which is more important than ever in our fast-changing world.
If you are serious about developing your leadership capabilities for the future, then focus on how you can lead and manage change better and better.
Here are 5 ideas to get you started:
Become an outstanding listener and communicator. Great, effective communication is a must when it comes to change. Communicate, communicate, communicate – keeping in mind that you have two ears and one mouth – communication is a two-way street. Listen first, then talk.
Be a great role model for change. People do what you do, not what you say. Think about the impact you have on others; how do you talk about the change? Are you positive, negative or neutral about it – and how does influence others? What are you doing to make it work?
Engage and involve people in the change. Change is often perceived as scary and it can feel pointless if we feel like it’s being done to us. By engaging others in a change that affects them, you minimise that fear and you increase the chances of the change becoming a success.
Show courage. It’s hard to know the correct answer all the time as things are changing, and yet you need to keep moving forward. This takes courage – to try things out, to test and evaluate, to adjust and improve – and to keep moving forward.
Anticipate and lead change. Look around you; be aware of the internal and external environment you are in. What are the trends in the market? What are your competitors doing? What could be improved and changed? Look for opportunities to lead change, and empower your team members to do the same.
Change is indeed inevitable, and that’s just as it should be. You may as well welcome it, embrace it and become a master at it.
Change brings opportunity.