Embrace Change

Live for the future, not your past. Embrace change.

Organisations talk about how to embrace change a lot. It is often described as continuous improvement, and some will have a continuous improvement department. I actually went for a job in 2013 for a continuous improvement manager, but didn’t get it.

Some people love when things change, but most people hate it. They run so far away from it, and hope it doesn’t catch them. The thing is, it always does catch them.

1. Highly Effective Leaders Embrace Change

A highly effective leader embraces change. They see it as an opportunity to grow and continuously improve. A low performing leader will reluctantly go through change. They definitely do not embrace it, or see it as an opportunity.

Whenever a new change is discussed, you will always see resistance from the insecure, low performing leaders. Then, when the change actually happens, the same low performing leaders will do their best to block it. I have experienced this many times both as an engineer and an engineering manager.

Get Your Copy Of My Book “Manager To Leader” Here

However, I have also experienced that highly effective leaders will do the opposite. They understand that for change to happen, you need to be flexible. You need to have a positive attitude when it comes to change. They don’t seek out the negatives to stop the change from happening.

They understand that if you remain positive then you can make the change happen. They also understand that you can make the change benefit you and the team, not do damage.

I really hope you are beginning to realise that the principles I am sharing are all interlinked. Every single one of them can be combined when they need to be. They are designed for to become a highly effective leader, so you can have the biggest positive influence possible on your team.

These principles will also help you to multiply your leaders influence by helping your team increase their influence. Keep this in mind throughout the rest of the article.

It is the role of a highly effective leader to lead their team through change. But, it is also the role of a highly effective leader to do the same. They can take the lead from the leader, and multiply the leaders influence by increasing their own. When they do that, they will also be helping the team to do the same.

2. Building Momentum

As the highly effective leader is increasing their influence, they are building momentum. As the momentum builds, the progress of the change also builds. Change is a very powerful way for a highly effective leader, and highly effective leader to work side by side.

It is an opportunity for them to raise the team to a new level, and is one that should be embraced.

Embrace Change

You are on the path to becoming a highly effective leader. What are you going to do when change comes around in your organisation? How are you going to embrace it? How are you going to support your leader? How are you going to help your leader lead the change?

3. How Valuable Do You Want To Become?

Keep thinking of change as an opportunity to grow. Look at change as a chance to become a more valuable leader. The most valuable leaders are the ones who lead their teams, and their organisations through all types of change. They do this every time a change comes around. How valuable do you want to become?

In the team you are currently a part of, are you a leader? Do you step up and play for the team, or do you sit on the side-lines? I can tell you, it is very boring sitting on the side-lines. You will have a much better time as one of the players on the team sheet.

How about being the first name on the team sheet? That would be really exciting. Highly effective leaders never sit on the side-lines, they are always right in the middle of the action. They lead the way when it comes to change, and will do everything they possibly can to make change happen.

Earlier in this chapter we discussed Tam from my days in Scotland, and how he changed his attitude from negative to positive. What he realised was that to be negative or to be positive is a decision we make every day. Not many people know that, but it’s true.

We actually decide “Today, I’m going to have a negative attitude” or, “Today, I’m going to have a positive attitude.” What decision did you make today?

When a person decides to change their attitude from being negative to being positive, things around them will start to change too. They will start to look at things differently and will attract positivity into their lives.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges, issues, or problems, because there will…every day. But, a negative attitude will not be one of those problems anymore.

The more we can hold our positive attitude, we are breeding a behaviour that others will follow. So, they will become a lot more positive too. Especially, if we are part of a team that is full of negative attitudes.

I do my best every day to keep a positive attitude and mindset. Believe me, I find it difficult sometimes, as do a lot of other people. What I do to try to maintain positivity is; I look within myself a lot.

If I feel the urge to blame someone for something, I resist it by looking within. I see this urge as an opportunity to work on myself and discover how I can stop these urges of blame. Or, any other negative urges I am feeling.

Most people all over the world tend to look outwards rather than inwards. But, if we want to change and be positive, then we need to change. We need to start looking inwards a lot more than we look outwards.

Embrace change

If you are reading this, and you are a person who doesn’t really like change, then don’t worry. I am going to help you to think differently.

4. You Can Think Differently

I was the engineering technical manager at a train operating company that ran through East Anglia in the UK. During that time, I became part of a team who were bringing in a big change. The team consisted of depot managers, planning managers, and production managers.

We were all the same level. The change was to bring in a new model called MPRM. This stood for: Maintenance, Planning, and Resource Model.

The purpose of this change was to improve how the engineering department did business basically. It would need to involve every single person in the engineering department, which consisted of hundreds of people based all over East Anglia. So, this no small change. In fact it was huge.

The first person I approached about this change was one of my technical engineers called Stuart. He was based in Norwich. We greeted each other with a smile, handshake, and hug, as I did with almost everybody.

I said “Stuart, I am part of a team that are bringing in a huge change that is going to improve our processes, maintenance, resources, planning……everything. I am hoping you can be one of the change leaders for our team.”

I could see in Stuart’s face that his cheeks were becoming a lot redder. Stuart was a brilliant engineer but set in his ways, and didn’t really like change.

Especially any changes that were related to his job, as he prided himself on what he did. I explained “I need your help, you’re the best to lead this change for Norwich. I need someone with a positive attitude.” To my surprise, Stuart replied “I would love to.” I said “Thank you so much, I’ll get back to you.”

Get Your Copy Of My Book “Manager To Leader” Here

Stuart had a reputation of being very stubborn when it came to change, but he made the decision to be positive that day. That made me very happy. He then went on to lead the change, and is even leading the change to commission the new trains for his depot. All because he decided to change his attitude.

That’s what change is…a decision.

Change is not easy, it is difficult. But is it worth it? Most certainly. If you find it difficult to embrace change, then make the decision to change and embrace it.

Try changing, you will not regret it.

How do you see reality? Do you face up to it, or do you avoid it? The consequences of avoiding reality are much worse than facing it.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

16 thoughts on “Embrace Change

  1. I have noticed that most people are afraid of and resist change. I thrive on change. If there is no change, I find my daily routine boring, which brings me to my next point: routine is a killer for me, it is demotivating. I need positive changes. That being said, there have been some changes at the company where I work that were not so great and had to be corrected. Sometimes changes are implemented that do not work out, but in general change is good.
    Embracing change doesn’t only apply at the workplace, but also in life. Every social or humane change in history and the present has met with stubborn resistance by the general population. Change frightens most people, unfortunately …

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m pleased that you found this article valuable.

      Change is very difficult for people and it is feared by a lot of them. Change is difficult for me, but I do my best to embrace it and look at the positive side of change. Especially when I am leading change. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with change in the place you work because there will be a lot of people reading this who will be able to relate to you and learn from you too.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. You have summarized the concept of change and embracing the change very well in this post. The main concern is majority of us like to operate from our comfort zone, we hate to venture into something that is uncharted territory.

    Change brings uncertainty and human minds are hardwired to protect, so the moment it finds itself in a new or in a non-familiar zone it will first protect and close its door.

    Our minds are not willing to accept that “change” is positive phenomenon – So as you rightly said, you need to train your mind and be open & willing to accept change.

    1. Hi Satz,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m pleased that you have found this article valuable.

      You are right, change does bring uncertainty and it is this uncertainty that we must embrace. When we are uncertain, we are uncomfortable and we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is the only time we grow in life, when we are out of our comfort zone.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. It’s counter-productive to think that change can be resisted. Only a short-sighted person can think that the job they are doing now will remain the same next year and the year after.
    Change is happening at an exponential rate these days, and this can be evidenced by the fact that a large portion of working opportunities that exist today were not even possible years ago.

    If we want to remain relevant to our business or organization, we had better do whatever is necessary to stay ahead of the game by looking for more ways we can add value….. instead of just cruizing along in the belief that everything will be fine!

    Looking inwards and adopting a positive and optimistic attitude will help us to remain an asset to our organization. After all, who really wants to go and work with grumpy people every day! Smart leaders realize that a good attitude is a choice!

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found this article interesting with such a detailed response.

      Change definitely is happening at an exponential rate and the more people realise and recognise this, the better. I completely agree that we need to stay ahead of the game in our organisations and in business. The more valuable we make ourselves, the more value we can add to people and to society.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. Change is a big step, stepping out of your comfort zone into the big bad world can be daunting even for good leaders. However, if we can navigate that change we can be great. Positive attitude and building momentum definitely go together like jam and toast 🙂 Highly effective leaders are difficult to come by but it make sense that if they can embrace change they would be more successful.

    I am not the kind of person that sits on the fence, I try to face reality head on.

    1. Hi Cornelia,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m pleased that you found this article valuable and engaged with it.

      Getting outside of our comfort zone is the only time we grow as people. When we’re comfortable, we are not growing. We need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in order for us to reach our full potential. I love your positive attitude and your analogy of building momentum with a postitive attitude is like jam and toast. I couldn’t agree more.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. Hi Tom, thank you for writing this post on change. I have gone through many changes since I was born to now.

    Many changes have been instilled in me since I was an infant. For instance, Dad heading overseas with the British Army, moving house, changing schools, migrating to Australia, often moving while growing up with dad’s work. We kids would often say, Oh no! not again.

    When I started work myself, I faced many changes in my employment, from an office runner in Sydney to bookkeeping. If you don’t know what an office runner is, you would deliver messages, parcels, and mail within the city by running to buildings. Then push bikes were introduced or motorbikes.

    Some of the changes I faced was manual bookkeeping and the implementation of computers, and job losses for many of my workmates.

    Today, I see change as a positive effect at work, but when it comes to my colleagues losing their jobs, I feel a negative impact that instils fear in me no matter where I work.

    Change can have a positive impact on many and a negative impact on others.

    1. Hi Yvonne,

      It is my pleasure to write this article, there are many more to come.

      I appreciate you sharing your experiences with change as there will be many people who read this article who can relate to you. Hopefully people can learn from you just as much as they can learn from me. I hope the changes that you will experience in the future will have a positive impact on you and if you need any help then please do get in touch.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  6. I am one of those who are embracing change without too much resistance and I can say that it’s one of the best traits of my personality. Of course, sometimes, I too have to struggle with myself in order to accept the change, especially if it’s seemingly negative. However, I learned that there are no negative experiences. There are positive ones and lessons. I like how you have said that as the momentum builds, the progress of the change also builds. That’s so true! Anyways, thanks for sharing this post, Tom. I always learn a lot from your blogs. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Ivan,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found this article valuable.

      I’m really pleased to hear that you are embracing change without much resistance. You are in the minority because most people fear change and would rather stay in their comfort zones. But, staying in your comfort zone will not help you to grow. We only grow when we are outside of our comfort zone.

      I love how you say there are only positive experiences and lessons. This really inspires me and hopefully will inspire others who read this article.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  7. Very educational post as normal. I have learnt a lot as a leader of my businesses the essentials of embracing change in this ever changing world otherwise you get left behind.
    For example many people who never used a computer and internet were very limited during the pandemic.

    1. Hi Thabo,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found this an educational article.

      Keep learning every day about yourself and your businesses. Leaders are learners and leaders are readers. IT doesn’t matter who or what we learn from, just keep on learning.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share