Have you ever heard the saying, “The only constant in life is change”? How true it is! Kids grow-up (too fast by the way), technology changes (believe it or not there was no such thing as a laptop when I was in high school, and cell phones were not available to everyone), employees have unexpected emergencies that take them out of the office (for a while, or they move on to new jobs or retire) ... and somehow you have to learn how to not live in fear of change, but instead to anticipate it and keep it together through it all. To say it’s a challenge is an understatement. And it’s how you handle it that makes all the difference in the world. You can panic and get frustrated or angry (which from experience, and trust me on this one, doesn’t make for a clear head for responding to the change) or you can take a deep breath and look at the change as an opportunity.
The older I get the more I’m reminded of how quickly things change and change quickly. I used to think that you go through the most changes when you are younger, and that at some point in time you reach a point where everything stabilizes. Wow, was I wrong. Unfortunately, because I thought this way, I would find myself getting frustrated when new changes cropped up. I remember a colleague seeing my frustration one time after everything had been running extremely smoothly for a very long time and saying to me, “Running a business is like playing a game of Whac-a-Mole. Just when you think all of the moles (or issues) are down, another one pops up out of nowhere.” Funny how true this is and how it has stuck with me. It led me to take action and learn how to handle change more effectively.
How To Beat The Game!
Change is not only a planning game, but a mental game – just like in “Whac-a-Mole” – where you know that mole is down there waiting to pop up. You learn to get ready for it, and as the game goes on you get better and better at anticipating it and knowing where it’s going to come up. Your confidence builds, knowing that you’re ready for the next one. The same holds true in life, for both individuals and companies. Those who ready themselves for and embrace “the unexpected mole that pops up out of nowhere” are the ones who will succeed. With plans in place, and the acceptance that change is a given, you can go on with your daily activities and tasks with confidence. Then, when those moles “pop up” you take a deep breath, rely on your support systems, your colleagues, and the plans you put in place and move forward.
So if “The only constant in life is change”--anticipate it the best you can and embrace it when it happens. Maybe think of “Whac-a-Mole” when the change gets challenging, or even pull out one of the old games (which I saw are even available on-line now) and give it a whirl. You’ll at least get a laugh out of it and who knows, maybe some inspiration. And know that sometimes even the biggest changes turn out to have the best endings, even when it doesn’t appear that way from the onset.
Read other "Pointers from the Principals" by Cindy:
This is a guest blog written by one of Chicago Communication's Principals, Cindy Glashagel. Cindy has over 27 years of experience in the industry. She held many positions during her tenure at Motorola, including time as a Systems Engineer, various customer service, quality & operations management and HR positions before resigning to start Chicago Communications, LLC.