Whether it’s through organizational changes, merger, acquisition, new job, new role, or personnel changes, I like to think our feelings and questions are similar across all these situations.
Here are three (3) themes I have heard and thought recently
I. What do they stand for?
When there’s a new kid on the block, the first thing we look for is what type of person is she.
- What does he value?
- How is she going to keep score?
- What’s going to be his main goal?
- What’s she going to bring to the table?
There’s something within us that compels us to wonder if the new person or company thinks like we do, feels like we do, and believes what we do. It’s the need to belong. Which takes us to the next topic.
II. What happens to our culture?
We are creatures of habit. We get used to the way things are and we like the safety of our environment. This applies whether it is a perfect state or a chaotic state; either way, we are used to it and we would like it to stay that way.
Better the known evil than the good unknown?
- Would we be treated the same way?
- Are the guidelines going to change?
- Are we going to get new operational values?
- Will it feel like a family?
III. Do I Have To Update My Resume?
More common than the other two, what we all wonder is if we are getting fired. Our natural instinct of self-preservation.
No need to explain this one. Each of us has been there.
My response? It doesn’t matter
Whether the changes are good or bad, they don’t matter. What matters is what am I going to do about and what can I do about it; especially, the latter.
I believe the three themes have root in our fear of change. Change means insecure, uncomfortable, and unknown.
In situations like these, I have to remind myself of two things.
- Progress can only be accomplished through change.
- In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein
- Life is easier when I focus on the things I can control
- Others control our opportunities…we control our readiness. – Mark Miller
There’s nothing we can do about changing what’s coming but there’s definitely something we can do about our preparation, dedication, attitude, and behavior.
- Are I giving our best at work?
- Does my work product showcase my talent?
- What can I do to connect with the new leader?
- How can I best serve the new leader?
- How can I use my talents to fill in the gaps?
I believe Steve Maraboli captured my sentiments in his book “Life, the Truth, and Being Free“:
How would your life be different if…You stopped worrying about things you can’t control and started focusing on the things you can? Let today be the day…You free yourself from fruitless worry, seize the day and take effective action on things you can change.