Featured, General, Leadership

Resistance is Futile

Rather than resisting change, we can learn to navigate it with much less stress and develop the leadership agility to adapt and leverage change for further growth in our careers.

Carol Yang

It’s hard not to resist change. Change after all brings uncertainty and almost always involves us leaving the safe comfort zone of what we know. Yet, the only constant in business is change.

So we have two choices. We can either continue resisting change. Or we can develop the leadership agility to not only just cope with change, but also thrive in it.

Change comes in many different forms – a new manager, another re-organisation where roles and responsibilities are shuffled about (yet again), or a new process or approach to doing things. Regardless of what it is, it’s distressing when it feels like it’s being forced upon us.

So what do we do when something is pushed onto us ? We push back. We fight it.

We look for reasons why it’s a dumb idea and why it’ll fail. Or we sit back and watch passively waiting for the wheels to fall off, which we’re convinced they will, eventually. All the while expending precious energy resisting it.

Rather than resisting change, how can we instead embrace and leverage it for further growth ?

I find this model developed by Janet Feldman of Korn Ferry very helpful in grounding us during stressful times of change. She recommends that we ask ourselves the following –

  • What can we control ?
  • What can we influence ?
  • What must we accept ?

I love this approach. These are logical, practical questions that immediately begins to deflate that emotional fear balloon.

Basically it puts us back in control. It directs our energy towards things we can control and influence. It helps us identify areas where we can leverage our strengths to build our confidence.

And what if there are things we just cannot accept ? If those are major deal breakers, then at least you have framed the problem and know that you now have a decision to make.

Being on the receiving end of a change we didn’t initiate is unpleasant. But if we accept that change is inevitable in business, we can learn how to navigate it with much less stress. And our ability to adapt will help us grow and perform at higher levels.





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