I trust you had a good weekend and I hope that you took time to thank a veteran for the incredible sacrifices he/she made that enable us to enjoy the lives we have today.
On Friday I had the honor of attending a Veterans’ Day luncheon. Retired General Stanley McChrystal served as the guest speaker. His presentation was humorous, moving, and informing. Prior to the event, I had the opportunity to meet the General and receive a copy of his most recent publication, My Share of the Task. As I began reading it last evening I was struck by McChrystal’s thoughts contained in the preface to the paperback edition. The General maintains that at its heart, the book is a story of change. He makes it both personal (“Zarqawi’s challenge demanded that I change how I thought and how I led”) and applicable to organizations (“Change is disruptive and frightening. People and organizations develop habits and cultures based upon what has worked in the past……Such thoughts are comfortable to all but those who are around when it all comes crashing down.”)
On Saturday morning a video interview appeared in the Reading Eagle When asked by the reporter if there were any messages the General wanted the audience to take away, he provided two. The first reminded us of our responsibility to embrace those who have served, “We asked veterans to serve, we have to remember that is not the government asking, it is we, the community, and as a community, when they come home they belong to us.” The second message involved change. “The world is changing fast……We are going to have to change as leaders, people and organizations if we are going to deal with that. We can, we just have to make the decision to do it.”
Shirley Tan considers the idea of personal adaptability and change in her Business.com post, How Well Do You Handle Change? The Benefits of Being Adaptable . Tan begins with a mindset question, “Do you begin each day with the mindset that you are prepared to handle whatever may happen that day?” She considers “Adaptability” to be a personality trait that helps us respond to change. Those who are highly adaptable are often referred to as “Flexible”, while those with low adaptability are thought of as “stubborn” or a “creatures of habit. The article shares some research and provides insights into the following five benefits of being adaptable in both the workplace and our personal life:
1 You will be more valuable to your employer
2 You will be a better leader
3 You will be happier and more satisfied with life
4 You will be better able to handle career transitions
5 You will bounce back more quickly from adversity
Likewise the idea of adaptability and organizational change is considered in James Nicholson’s QuickBase.com post, “ Lessons in Business Agility I Learned in the US Air Force Boot Camp . Nicholson begins with a truism, “Business agility, or the ability to redirect or respond to change quickly can mean life or death of an operation.” Calling on what he refers to as his “none-too-gentle” Air Force training, he shares lesson learned that can be applied to an agile business strategy.
• Be open to new ideas, but don’t forget the fundamentals
• Share information
• Rely on your team or build a new one
• Accept challenges
He concludes by encouraging organizations to, “Strengthen and develop resources that already exist in an effort to be more capable and ready for the unexpected that’s absolutely expected to come.”
Change is a challenging process. Let’s close with some quotes on the subject:
• “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to reach my destination” – Jimmy Dean
• “There is nothing permanent except change” – Heraclitus
• “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
• The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward
• To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” – Winston Churchill
Have a great week and Embrace the Change!