CHANGE – Embrace it, Shape It, or Get The Heck Out of The Way

By: Chris Mahlmann Last Updated: January 24, 2010

CHANGE – Embrace it, Shape It, or Get The Heck Out of The Way

If you look up quotes related to the word change, you could be reading for days.  There are actually 92,700,000 examples or sites that that you can link to when you search Google for “Change Quotes”

  • Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.  But if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen. ~Conan O'Brien
  • He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~Harold Wilson
  • If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit
  • When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  ~Victor Frankl
  • If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change.  If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change.  ~John A. Simone, Sr.
  • When you are through changing, you are through.  ~Bruce Barton
  • Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.  ~John Kenneth Galbraith
  • They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.  ~Confucius
  • The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.  ~Ellen Glasgow
  • Stubborness does have its helpful features.  You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow.  ~Glen Beaman
  • I put a dollar in one of those change machines.  Nothing changed.  ~George Carlin

You could apply the concept or those quotes to darn near everything that we interact with in business, and in how we interact with new ideas in general.

I grew up in the fast paced financial markets, and always have had a very creative mind, so that has likely bred a pretty inquisitive mind and a hyper entrepreneurial spirit in me from an early age.  I am used to watching markets that change in seconds, and traders that make decisions in a heart beat, because they have to.  I was always wondering less about why something was the way it was, and more about why it was not something else, or what might be coming around the corner.  If whatever I knew today was interesting, what I might know tomorrow was always even more interesting.  Maybe it is just the ADD slant to my personality, but what is next has always fascinated me.

Nobody would have ever confused me with a book worm by any means at school, but I have always been a voracious reader in all forms and particularly in a business sense.  Curious as to why things work, why they don’t, and what new ideas people had for doing business, communicating, and performance.  I guess how a lot of folks are fascinated with athletes or musicians and people practicing intensely at their craft so they can perform at their peak capacity, I have always gotten jacked about how great businesses work, and how great leaders find ways to simply achieve way more than the average ones.  Survival of the fittest I guess you could say.

I see examples every day however, of business folks that spend huge hours, energy, company resources, and focus on trying to fight change, hold onto what was, or obstinately hope for a world that just does not exist.  Every single one of us knows that Change Happens, and we wake up every day with the capability to do something to help shape what changes in our world, or embrace it and see it as an opportunity.  Every day though in the business world, small and large, are thousands of examples of people hoping against hope that things would be just the way they used to be.  You could call them stubborn, cowards, ignorant, wishful, timid, or you could call them just later.

Change for change sake is pointless, and by it’s very nature, anything that changes is unproven, new, different, and most likely scary for many.  Just think though, if every woman or man that invented a new machine, medicine, tool, method, idea, business, practice, or product, was content to keep things as they were.  What if none of the folks that wanted to see if something could be done better, actually did.

  • Do you wish customers were more like they used to be?
  • Do you wish staff were more responsible or committed like they used to be?
  • Do you wish the market that you serve was more like it used to be?
  • Do you like all the changes happening to your business?
  • Do you like all the advancements that are going on around you?
  • Do you wish expectation did not rise with each day?
  • Would you rather things just stay the same?

The harsh reality is nobody cares whether you are eager to learn something new, or whether you like the way things are, or how nervous you are about the future.  Your company and your success is not going to wait for you to ease into it, whatever "it" is.  If you are not leading the effort to innovate, if you are not the one setting higher expectations for yourself and those around you, and you are “waiting on the world to change” as John Mayer sings, you are toast.

As the quote goes “Do you wish things were easier,  or do you just wish you were better?”