• Robert "Dusty" Staub

Make Change your Friend

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

The only constant in life is change. So go ahead: make change your friend.

Those who are on good terms with change can move more gracefully through transitions, both expected and unexpected, and will notice opportunities that might otherwise have been missed.

Let me give you an example. Many years ago I worked with an executive in the operations department of a Fortune-50 company. His organization was in the middle of embracing total quality management and six-sigma statistics, but he was resisting the change because he was unfamiliar with the technology. Although he had been wildly successful through more than three decades at this firm, by the time I came in to coach him, he had already, on two occasions, been called on the carpet by his supervisor.

Through my work with this executive, he finally came to understand that change was going to happen whether he wanted it to or not. The fact of change was out of his control. What he could choose was how to move with that change: make the most of it, or be left behind. So he turned to one of the younger team members reporting to him, because she had a clear understanding of the new process analysis methodology. By having the courage to be vulnerable, he asked for her help, listened to her, and his department began to thrive.

Equally important, he gave full credit to her for her assistance, acknowledged how much he had learned from her, and was pleased to see her eventually promoted.

When challenges show up in the field, remember that sometimes the most junior person on your team may have the answers you need. Making change your friend means you are willing to learn from anyone and any situation, without allowing ego, hierarchy, rank, educational status, past history or fear get in the way. This is what I call heart-centered leadership. I encourage different acts of courage: the courage to see (and accept!) current reality, to be confronted, to be vulnerable, to learn and grow and then, to take bold action.

What can you be doing in the next 3-6 weeks to make change your friend? Consider which act of courage would serve you most at this time.

And then, invite others to dance with change right along with you.

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