The Paradox of Change

Where would you like to be in six months? One year? Two years? How do you get there? The first step is to clearly define what it is you want to achieve. The next step is to determine what you will have to change to get to where you want to be. Sound easy? Well, it can be.

If change is the catalyst that helps us grow and achieve at a higher level, then knowing what we want and creating the target is what activates the catalyst of change. I refer to these targets as primary desires. Once we recognize our primary desires, we can concentrate on figuring out what it will take to achieve them.

Although change is necessary for growth, people naturally resist change. According to Industry Week magazine, a recent survey revealed that 55% of all Americans remain resistant, even phobic, when it comes to taking advantage of technology in their everyday lives. People resist change because of a variety of reasons including:

  • Fear of change.
  • The uncertainty that change involves.
  • Trying new things is uncomfortable.
  • Difficulty with poor results until the benefits of change come.
  • People don’t want to lose control.

When Martin Marietta and Lockheed merged, Norman Augustine, CEO and Chairman of Martin Marietta, said, “These are Darwinian times in our industry. The failure to change is the failure to survive.” I believe that these are Darwinian times in all industries and all our lives and a failure to change may mean a failure to survive.


Change is scary, but people only accept change when they feel safe.

Recently in Richmond Virginia, the City Council felt the fear of change. After a seven hour hearing, the Richmond City Council voted to erect a statue of Arthur Ashe among the memorials to Confederate heroes on Monument Avenue. Mayor Young said, “We have grown, and it is painful to grow.”

Change offers new opportunities and new hope. Many times people are concerned when they are in the middle of a period of rapid change. The natural characteristic of change dictates that new opportunities will open up and those people that are poised to take advantage of those opportunities will far outperform those who are not.

Former manufacturing CEO John Mariotti, said, “The successful companies of the future will be able to react to change with incredible speed and flexibility by shifting their shape to create and deliver value better than their competitors – by being very good at what they do.”

The world in which we live today not only expects us to change, but demands it. By identifying your primary desires, determining changes you need to make to achieve those goals and then implementing those changes, you will achieve immediate results. Tap into the powerful force that change brings. Learn to manage that force and use it to create competitive advantage professionally and a richer life personally.


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