The Challenge of Change

There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” Winston Churchill

The above quote from the great Winston Churchill is truth in it’s purest form. The question for leaders in every type of organization is this: How do you know if you’re changing in the right direction. That’s a big question but even that is not the challenge of change, the real challenge of change is this: people resist change even if it is in the right direction. 

There are two types of people in the world: those who say they love change and honest people.

I exaggerate a bit with that comment but only a bit. Most people are challenged by change for one simple reason: all change comes with some sort of loss. Every time something changes in your life you lose something, even if you initiate the change. You accept a new job and you “lose” many of the relationships that existed with the old one. You buy a new house and you miss some of your old neighbors. You may not even be aware of the “loss” but it affects you anyway.

I’m actually okay with change so long as it doesn’t effect me personally. I know of many things and many more people who need to change. Thankfully, I’m not one of them. I know there are people who think I do need to change but it’s actually their thinking that needs to change, not me. 😏

I suspect most people are like me, I have no real interest in changing or dealing with change and if the world would just sit still for a minute I’d be just fine with that.

But the world won’t sit still.

That’s why it’s so important that like change or not, we learn how to manage it and even use it to our benefit. 

One key to successfully managing change is to acknowledge the loss. We need to realize that it’s okay to feel a little distress with the loss, it’s normal and it doesn’t make you any less effective as a person or a leader.

Once you acknowledge the loss you can replace it. There is something in the “change” which will replace the loss, something new, something that might take getting used to, but the void of the loss will be filled.

Once the loss is acknowledged and replaced it becomes much easier to move forward. Change experts (which I am certainly not) would even say to celebrate the passing of old into new as a way of getting closure out the loss and embracing the new.

Here’s a fact that all successful people know: you don’t have to like change to make it work for you. You do need to understand it, you do need to accept it, you do need to realize that it’s going to happen whether you want it to or not.

The real question is whether it will happen to you or for you. That’s a choice and it’s a choice only you can make.

10 thoughts on “The Challenge of Change

  1. Steve Borek says:

    Change can be scary. In my last professional life before becoming a business and career coach, I sold expensive (hundreds of thousands of dollars) ERP software applications. ERP is a fancy word for an accounting system. Part of the sales process is to demo the software. People would ask if the software had this feature or that feature, etc. I would always get a person who would say “Well, this is how we do it today. Can your software do that?” I would reply “If you want to continue to replicate your old inefficient processes without looking to change or improve, why would you spend all this money on new technology to remain the same?” In this example, people were afraid of change. How will the new software impact their life? Will it make things easier? More difficult? Will the software eliminate their job? p.s. Have a happy day of discovering meaningless drivel. ;-p

    • That’s a great example of “fearing” change. While we will “invest” in change we don’t want it to impact us. Imagine a world where everyone truly left well enough alone…. There would be no meaningless drivel on something called Twitter today. 🙂

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