For most of my career, I’ve heard experts say that many businesses will cease to exist due to innovation and/or unique technology advances that would make them obsolete or no longer viable. I’ve seen it happen, and you probably have too.
Despite change and obsolescence, I believe smart people adapt and learn to take advantage of change. Many people have a positive attitude toward the changes occurring in their businesses and choose to embrace them. They see their cup more full than empty. My advice: take advantage of the opportunities and make them work for you. The ability to see change as a positive is a critical advantage.
There are techniques that have helped me adjust to change. I hope they help you take better advantage of all your opportunities.
The best way to excel in whatever business or industry you’re in is to strive to know more. I always tried to know as much as I could about the industry and business I was in, and what changes were coming. I really wanted to become an expert in whatever business I was in.
Early in my career, I was asked to be a partner in an advertising agency. I knew the ad business, having been the director of advertising at Bank of America. But to become more knowledgeable of all aspects of advertising, I created a course and began teaching advertising at San Diego State University. I taught this course for several years and not only was it rewarding, but it gave me a much broader foundation in advertising. It made me better.
I’ve found it pays off to have a mindset to keep learning. I’ve had several different careers in my lifetime and I continue to learn; it’s been a real advantage.
Don’t get your head so far above things that you fail to recognize what’s happening on the ground.
I’ve made a point of getting out with the people who do the work to find out what’s working and what’s not. It’s usually the little things that make the difference between winning and losing. And the added benefit of getting up from behind the desk and out of your office is that employees feel reassured by seeing you out asking questions. They know you’re in touch. It’s a win-win for you and them.
See change as a friend. Embrace it, don’t fight it, and learn to take advantage of it. Every time I hear or read change is occurring, all I think of is, “opportunity is coming my way.”
The key is to take the next step; do something about it and make something positive happen. Get together with your team to review the opportunities and challenges created by the change. Do what you can to make the situation an advantage down the road. It’s good to review the pluses and minuses and create a clear plan to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive result.
Things don’t always happen as planned; at least for me that’s true. But the secret is to review the details and find out why something failed. And with that knowledge and insight, try again — and again, if needed!
I heard some phenomenal statistic of how many people fail and never try again. They just quit trying. Don’t let yourself become that statistic. There may be one or many reasons it didn’t work originally, so figure it out. I believe the outcome will surprise you and be better than you thought or dreamed.
Determine how to best take advantage of the change or changes.
In many ways, it does come down to attitude. Do you have the belief that change is good? Your mindset will determine how you handle the changes occurring. Someone once told me that attitude is everything. I know it can be a real game changer.
I am reading a book at the moment called “Lead for God’s Sake,” and a quote from it struck me as appropriate to include here as a closing thought. “If you don’t pursue your goals with passion, how can you expect to ever make it to the top, regardless of what you are striving for?”
The business world is certainly changing, faster than we even realize. Make change work for you! Have the right attitude, involve your team or others, and take advantage of it.