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Would You Prefer to Change or Adjust?

As much as we might want it, lasting change often eludes us. Whether we’re leaders or team members, we hope to become something better. We hope to see differently and learn to work differently. But relating in new ways doesn’t come as easily as we would like.

I’m not going to try to explain it. I’d be a different person myself if I could slip into the changes I’ve wanted through the years. The fact is that I still have many of the habits that I’ve had for most of my professional career.

Getting frustrated doesn’t help. Kicking myself doesn’t help. I need an alternative. How about simply making an adjustment?

Maybe change requires a more patient, less performance-oriented approach than many self-help books would have us believe. Growing up personally and professionally is a developmental process as much as a trained and practiced process.

Maturity comes before proficiency. That means I take practical steps in small increments. I don’t aim for wholesale changes or sweeping transformations. Instead, through small every day decisions, I gradually mature into:

  • increased self-awareness
  • internal integrity
  • outward consistency
  • relational connectedness

It’s worth the effort, because the results are real:

  • enhanced performance
  • increased professional confidence
  • consistent creative energy
  • sustained drive

Okay, those are a lot of big words and abstract concepts. They come down to this: adjust where you can and go from there. Don’t worry so much that you’re not where you think you should be (or others think you should be). Just keep trying something new every once in a while and see how it goes.

We don’t want to be the proverbial guy who keeps hitting his head on the same low-hanging door lintel. Nor do we avoid hitting our heads by never getting up at all. We simply learn to duck. We learn to adjust.

What strategies have helped you adjust–either professional, personally or both?



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