The one constant in life is Change. The most frequent request I receive in seminars is for “easy to use” steps for handling inevitable change. I am not convinced there are any easy steps but I have learned a few which can help. Use them enthusiastically.
1. KNOW THYSELF
The more you know about yourself, the better prepared you will be to handle change. It’s when you don’t know what your strengths and limitations are that you sometimes panic during change and times of stress. Do a self-inventory at least twice a year … and then spend more time working on your strengths. If you want to improve a perceived weakness, fine … although a better option might be to hire someone who has that quality as one of their strengths.
2. BE ABLE
Learning is not an event. It is a process. Continue to expand your comfort zone, increase your abilities and build value. People will follow you because they think you know where you are going. As soon as they discover, you don’t know where you are going or you are stuck in place, they will look for someone else to follow. We have two choices … either you are getting better or you’re getting worse!
3. BE SEEN AS ABLE
It is not enough to have skills and abilities; you must also use and share them with others. Many people believe sharing their skills will somehow diminish their power. Helping others to get better will always make you look good. I once had a boss who told me he knew how to do a particular task and if he showed me, I would also know, so he decided not to show me! My first thought was “So, who cares if you know?”. Leadership ability and power comes from sharing, not hoarding.
4. RELY ON OTHERS
As you build your co-workers and staff into an effective team, you can delegate with a higher degree of confidence. Give away your favorite task to someone who can do it just as well, if not better. Giving away only those tasks which you dislike is called dumping! Learn to delegate more right now or you face a future where you are either completely on your own or you create a new job for yourself as an adult babysitter.
5. PREPARE TO BE LUCKY
Negative people hate this step! I had a person in a seminar accuse me of using that “Positive Thinking Garbage”. He added, “I tried that once and it didn’t work”. Well, there’s a surprise. I have found consistently I tend to hit whatever I aim at. If I aim at success, I have a much greater chance of hitting it. If I aim at failure, I usually hit that too. Most people aim at nothing every day and then complain when they get whatever someone else decides to give them, wrongly claiming victim status.
6. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CAREER
The best job security you can ever have is to build sufficient value so someone will always want you. Many people believe once they finish formal education, they are done … that’s more likely when you are really starting. The myth of job security, that someone owes you a job, is one of the dirtiest, nastiest lies ever propagated in our society. As a small business owner, I know if I don’t work, I don’t eat. This doesn’t take a lot of calculation every morning. No one is responsible for my well-being other than me! Who is looking after you?
7. LEARN THE ROPES
Yes, this is politics. You need to know what the rules are so you can make informed choices. If the rules are always changing, then that’s one of the rules. Once you know what the rules are, ask yourself … “Can I play under these rules? Can I stay and change the rules? Do I need to find another game to play in?”
8. NEVER STOP NETWORKING
The benefits are many: information, contacts, friendships, etc. You need to belong to at least one professional association relating to the industry you are in or would like to participate in. And, don’t just join … be active. Whether you are job-hunting or not, vacancies and opportunities are often discussed at those meetings long before they are officially posted.
9. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Most people have no idea what they want. They just know what they don’t want. I had a seminar participant tell me he wanted more friends. When I inquired as to how many he wanted, he said he didn’t really know. I told him he had already reached his goal. If you don’t know exactly what you want, nothing will ever be enough because you will always be wondering what it would be like to have more.
10. GO FOR THE BOTTOM LINE
I am not talking here just about money, although people who say they don’t like money will usually lie about other things too. I have a “new” bottom line when it comes to work. If it’s not fun, then I don’t want to do it. This can cause some concern for my staff since we now turn down some work we used to take. If our client assures us they are fun, then I’ll be there … otherwise, I’m not going. What’s your bottom line?; (hope you’re also having some fun)