Change is unavoidable


Change is never easy, but it is unavoidable. There are oppositions, pushbacks, resistance, and eventual acceptance, but change takes its toll on us. Here is a list of comments on change coming from different people:

“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” – Woodrow Wilson.

“Our ability to adapt is amazing. Our ability to change isn’t quite as spectacular.” – Lisa Lutz.

“Change is inevitable – except a vending machine.”– Robert Gallagher.

One funny guy says: “Sometimes someone unexpected comes into your life from out of nowhere, makes your heart race, and changes your life forever. We call these people cops.”

And probably a frustrated person said this: “Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they changed it.”

As far as my business experience and interaction with leaders, every leader I know welcomes change if the idea comes from them. While there is resistance when change initiatives come from someone else.

The world is changing rapidly, and we are grappling with the results of a global pandemic that has affected our personal and professional lives. As individuals and businesses, we rethink our careers and relationships and adapt to new circumstances. I have noticed substantial changes even in the client’s training needs. There is a high demand for training on change management, values orientation, and leadership enhancements. I have had clients have me do multiple runs throughout the year when speaking and training used to be one-off events during pre-pandemic days. Things have changed and continue to change.

Millions are rethinking their careers, and businesses are scrambling to meet consumers’ new expectations. Cultural shifts have given us new words, relationships, and new awareness, and of course, we will long be grappling with the results of a global pandemic. But while these are big, things are felt in small and personal ways. We ask ourselves serious questions about what we desire, where we find opportunity, and what we’re willing to sacrifice.

Book author and Entrepreneur magazine editor-in-chief Jason Feifer observe the four phases’ people go through as they experience and value change:

The first is the most familiar, which is PANIC. Lives become unfamiliar; our futures become unknowable planning feels impossible. Then comes phase two, which is ADAPTATION. The dust began to clear. We saw what was now possible and what was not. We began to work with what we had. Enters phase three, which is often called NEW NORMAL. We got comfortable again, like settling into a pair of new shoes. We established new rules though we still longed for the old ones. And then, we enter the fourth phase. Although it may have been slow, we began reaching and wouldn’t return. This is not to discount the loss and suffering that so many people experienced either during COVID or as a result of any other change. When industries shift and businesses close, suffering results when personal relationships fall apart, or lives are lost. The emptiness and loneliness can feel inescapable. This is real. But still, the change, though sad as it is, forces people to make a change, and although it was painful and disorienting at first, it ultimately pushed them to rethink their lives and businesses positively. It is the entire point of the four phases of change. It is where we can start building a better future. It is where we can recognize and collaborate on tomorrow’s opportunities and stop wasting energy trying to recreate the past.

As we go through the four phases of life change, we need to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. An entrepreneur is someone who makes things happen for themselves. It begins by recognizing that our actions today are building for tomorrow. We must accept that the future is not optional. We can’t opt out of it; we must participate in and benefit from it.

In business, culture as in politics. Incumbents will fall, and new challengers will rise the results will be unpredictable. But as individuals, we cannot slow or stop it. We can, however, participate in it and benefit from it.

This thinking applies to you. You may have a thriving career and be working for someone or yourself. Because even as we all build something for ourselves, we must remember that we’re building on shifting ground. Our foundation will be rocked. We cannot predict tomorrow’s needs, but we can anticipate that tomorrow will have needs that will be different from today’s. We must start to see instability as a form of opportunity.

We are in a time of significant change. Change usually starts as too gradual to notice until it becomes too large to address. Embrace change, and sensibly speaking, is there another option to consider?



(Francis Kong’s “Inspiring Excellence” podcast is now available on Spotify, Apple, Google, or other podcast streaming platforms.)

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