WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUL. 22, 2014
version 4, draft 4

Don’t Accept Change, Harness It

Change is constant and there are plenty of resources to help you understand how to handle it. I’m not going to tell you what you already know, and what is already written, instead, I am going to tell you how to use change to your advantage. I am going to give you real life examples, and their results, to show why accepting change is not what you should focus on. Instead, you should learn how to harness change.

You Can Learn To Accept It... Or Just Harness It

In the business world you are going to face change that you think is idiotic. This will happen more than once and there is no better word for it than the one I just used. Unless you are the person running the company, you don’t really have a say in the matter. Accept the change and move on with your life. Actually, accept the change and use it, like a shrewd cartoon businessman, to improve your lot. Be Scrooge McDuck and treat change like he treats money. When you start to look at change in an aggressive way, that is, you take change and bend it to your will, it is going to increase your income because it is going to increase your position in your organization. This happens when you show your supervisors that change is not something that challenges you, but something that you embrace. Embracing change shows that you can lead others down the path of accepting it as well.

If you look at my previous articles, (Empathy, Success, Competition) most are pretty close to “inspirational, feel-good” pieces. This one is decidedly different. Here is the personal story as to why. I have to leave some things fairly generic when describing the story, but you will get the idea.

When It All Changed

I was at a managers conference when my company implemented one of the most useless add on products we had ever heard of. I mean no ill will to the company, I understood why they were doing it, but the product had no real value to a majority of customers. After the announcement was made, we headed off (my team) to dinner and complained about the issue in hushed breaths to each other. What I had not mentioned was that I already called my store and told them to start selling the add on.

My team, back home at the store, had major issues with the new product and did not mince words with me about it. My reply was this, “The Company wants this to be done, we want to be great and we are going to do it, no further discussion.” I continued after that and explained that I understood why they didn’t care for the change, but we were going to be the best in the company at selling the new product. I gave them a great deal of advice in how to best pitch the product to customers and they promised they would give it a try.

I don’t recall the actual number of the product we sold, but I know that why most managers were still complaining about it we had a huge number actually sold. For a while we were number one. I was viewed as some type of super sales manager because I was putting up such big numbers. I didn’t correct anyone, but here is the truth. I was the guy actually accepting and using the change to make me and my team look better by implementing the sales of this new product before we had even let it sink in. We showed our managers, and the company, that we would take something new, change, and embrace it rather than ignore it. Most other managers were still complaining about it.

Make Change Fear You

Change is coming. Every day is another chance. Your company is going to try new things. Some are going to seem pointless and work out amazingly well. Other changes are going to seem brilliant and fall flat. If you don’t take charge of every change and try to use it to increase your position in your career, you aren’t going to be on the right train when it takes off. This isn’t an article to get you pumped about change or give you some happy way to cope with it. This is an article to make you actually accept that it is going to happen and teach you to use it to your benefit. Don’t complain, don’t whine, just embrace it and let it make you look better.

Image Source: DigitalWorksConsulting

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