How are You Managing in these Changing Times?

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There may be more change in how things are being done because of the economy, affected by the growth in unemployment, than I can remember in my working life.  To cope and stay ahead of the curve you have to stay on your toes.  Beliefs that may have gotten you by in the past just won’t cut it today.  Here are just a few things to keep in mind as you deal with your unique, ever-changing situation.

Recognize ‘Myth’ vs. ‘Reality’.

Myth – I can just keep on doing my job like I have been.

Reality – If the company is changing, you probably need to be changing too.

Myth – I don’t think my job will be affected by all the changes.

Reality – Pay very close attention to what’s going on around you – if the company is changing at a faster rate than you are, you could be headed for trouble.

Myth – We’ve been doing it this way for years, and it seems to be working. 

Reality – Examine your work routines, your modus operandi, and see if you’re out of step with the new beat in the organization.  During times like these the cadence changes.  Work needs to move at a faster tempo.  Problems can hit in a hurry and easily outrun you.

Myth – I don’t see any reason why I should change the way I’m doing things.

Reality – If you see changes in the corporate culture, priorities, management style, or work pace in the organization, take it as hard evidence that you probably need to start doing some things differently yourself. You can’t rely on the old tried-and-true approach during periods of major transition and change.

Myth – Why fix something that ain’t broke.

Reality – “If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” –Charles Kettering

Look at Yourself

  • The first chore in managing change is the toughest:  Self-management.  Handle that right, and you’re halfway home.
  • Examine your own attitude. 
  • Evaluate your personal investment in pushing for change.
  • Sometimes the best management tool is a mirror.

The Passion of the Person in Charge

  • People always look at the leader when they want to take the pulse of an organization.
  • Commitment climbs when people see passion in the person out front.
  • The more consuming the leader’s commitment, the more they draw your people toward them.
  • If you are in Charge; like it or not, you set the climate.  People always take a reading on the person in charge.
  • If leadership is lukewarm, you’ll see the passion cool among your people.
  • Commitment can’t survive when the leader doesn’t seem to care.
  • If you are in Charge, be obvious.

Keep your Sense of Humor

  • An upbeat attitude and good sense of humor won’t keep you from getting hit by trouble, but they’ll help you handle it if you do get hit.  “They said cheer up, things could get worse.  So, I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse.”
  • Humor is good therapy.
  • Humor helps keep things in perspective.
  • Humor helps keep you from blowing all the aggravations out of proportion.
  • Crying may be cleansing, but humor is healing.  Choose laughter. 
  • “Enjoy yourself.  If you can’t enjoy yourself, enjoy somebody else.” –Jack Schaefer (Author, Shane)

Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Weaknesses

  • The winds of change reshape circumstances and present different problems.
  • Even if your job title and duties remain the same, the situation may call for something new out of you.
  • Shift your job’s priorities to match the changes in organizational priorities.
  • Align yourself with any changes in values and corporate culture.
  • Adjust your approach to fit the personality and management style of new leaders.
  • Develop new competencies if your skills become outdated.
  • Be alert.  Catch on.  Refocus rapidly.
  • Examine your job and identify the critical few, make-or-break factors important for job success.  Chances are something there has changed.
  • Continuing to focus on “doing what you do best” might be one of the worst things you could do.
  •  “Only those who constantly retool themselves stand a chance of staying employed in the years ahead.” –Tom Peters.
  •  “As you’re the only one you can really change, the only one who can really use all your good advice is yourself.” –John Roger and Peter McWilliams.

Maybe you can apply some of these thoughts.  Certainly a lot of it I can apply in my own work life.  Whether it’s something posted here, or perhaps something else you have seen, read, noticed or witnessed.  Let’s hear from you; How are You Managing in these Changing Times?

—Marty Hudson

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