Psychologists have discovered that humans actually crave novelty and change. Yet most of us stay in the safe harbor of the known. We think that we’ll be happier and more secure in the familiar world of the known. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Avoiding change and growth is the the most dangerous place to be as a human. Yes it is scary dealing with the unknown. Yes it is confusing to move away from the familiar. Yes it is hard to deal with change. Yet, that is where the opportunity lives. That is where growth lives. That is where our best selves live.
One of the biggest tasks of leadership (and remember – leadership isn’t about your position, it’s about the way you show up each day) is dealing with change. And when it comes to change real leaders are learners. They are open minded. They hunt down new opportunities. They question everything. They find a better way.
So when you are faced with change it’s not time to run–it’s time to learn.
Here are a few tips to help you learn your way through change.
1Read relentlessly. My personal library will be the most important thing I leave to my children. It only takes one idea in one book to take your life to a new level. Someone,
somewhere has been through what you are going through. Be wise and learn from them.
2Journal. The best way to make sense of your life is to reflect on it. And there is no better way to do that than to sit down with a crisp, white piece of paper and record your thoughts.
3Conversation. Nothing so inspires me as great conversation. Schedule conversations with people who fascinate you or even frustrate you. I respectfully challenge you to learn from the people you don’t agree with. Nothing will so clear up your stained glass window as looking at the world through someone else’s.
4Adventure. Try a new kind of food, check out a museum, tour a friend’s workplace or go on a guided nature hike. It makes you more creative. Adventure helps you see the world in a new way. And sometimes that’s all it takes to generate a big idea.
5Listen. I love my iPod. I listen to the greatest minds on the planet tell me the secret to their success. Turn your car into a university by listening to tapes or CDs on the way to work. Who learns faster wins. Nothing will get you through periods of change (and when aren’t you facing change?) better than learning.
So what can you do to get to world-class within?