Last year, I attended an event where the speaker told a story that really just stuck with me. He shared the highlights of a conversation he recently had with a “fifty something” male executive. The exec shared his frustration over the rapid rate of change that was happening in his business, "the market" and basically every aspect of the world. He finished his rant by saying, “I HATE CHANGE!”
Sound familiar? Has the evolution of the business climate created issues that you struggle with?
If that sounds like you, and you’ve uttered the words, “I HATE CHANGE” in the past, you may want to stop reading this post right now before I share the speaker’s response to the executive. Especially if you have thin skin.
Are you ready?
Ok, since you’re still reading, here it goes…..
The speaker’s response to the gentleman who "hates change," was short and sweet, and in my opinion, 100% accurate. He said, “Well you’re going to hate irrelevance much more!"
Alrighty. If you didn’t heed my warning, keep reading, you may feel a combination of hate and discontent course through your body and might even have a stomachache, but, it’s ok. The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one.
So what can you do?
I’m sure it’s no secret to you that we live in a tremendously interesting and fast paced time. Even if you ignore the crazy political environment we’re all forced to hear about from the second we wake up in the morning, you’ve got to admit there are huge shifts occurring right in front of you.
You have the option to either capitalize on these shifts or bury your head in the sand and become a “victim” of them.
Look…I understand it’s frustrating when you’re forced to break old habits and change your approach as circumstances shift. However, just because it’s understandable, doesn’t mean you get a reprieve from dealing with the pain if you refuse to adapt.
Business professionals are famous for the mindset that if their business isn’t growing, it’s dying. That universal truth doesn’t simply apply to our businesses. It also applies to us as human beings.
But even though we are very aware of this truth, why is it that so many of us dig in our heels and fight against this change?
I am convinced it’s completely driven by something very few people are willing to state aloud, and instead subject themselves to the incessant internal voices that effectively shred their self-esteem.
The culprit is FEAR! It doesn’t matter if it’s a fear of losing your relevance, fear of a growing knowledge gap that comes along with new technology, or if you’re simply scared that your boss is going to start to get on the same page of those voices in your head and decide to bring in some new young superstar to replace you.
My mentors used to tell me that FEAR was short for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” They were a bit more polished than I am since my interpretation is that FEAR is bullshit and primarily driven by a desire to protect our fragile egos.
There’s no need to be intimidated by the young superstar because, whether it feels like it or not, they need you as much as you need them. You’ve got a tremendous amount of experience and understand the market far better than they possibly could.
If you can figure out how to ignore the fear and instead, “be the bridge” to sustainability for the organization you represent by mentoring the next generation and sharing the vast knowledge you’ve accumulated, you will become indispensable!
I’d like to challenge you to openly embrace change and use it as an opportunity for continuous growth. If for no other reason than to extend your own mortality. Remember: If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Do you see our current situation similarly? Does what I’ve written piss you off? Do you feel I’ve missed something? Regardless…I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Positive or negative.
Come on. You know you want to!