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Change

Let it run through

Business & Career

Are you interested in a new career or are there significant changes within your company/organization that are needed to stay competitive and move to the next level? Many people seek to change jobs for many different reasons. Your career and business goals may have changed, and you may have discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job/organization, you may wish to make more money, expand the business to be more profitable or have more flexible hours, just to name a few. Before you decide this, it is essential to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options and to choose the next steps that will be more satisfying for you. Michelle will help to define the changes you wish to make and how to take the next steps in that journey.
There is no other area you will experience CHANGES like that of an Entrepreneur.  Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying; “Entrepreneurship, is not something that we’ll make money from for a very long period of time if it works out. But it’s this deep belief that you’re trying to make a CHANGE, you’re trying to connect people in the world, and I really do believe if you do something good and you help people out, then eventually some portion of that good will come back to you,” he said. “I hope that the work that we do can play a role in empowering so many entrepreneurs to build great companies.”  When navigating the roads of entrepreneurship, it is important you are guided and support by great like-minded people who will remind you why you started the journey in the first place.
It’s been said before that relationships in business are everything, and inherent to relating with others is working together as a team. A recent Economist stated that “teams have become the basic building-blocks of organizations,” This is an important statement although often overlooked in a culture where everything is about promoting “me” and “I.” Today, teams and working together to accomplish a common goal are the building blocks of performance and success.  Businesses today are moving toward a networked team structure, not by choice, but by necessity. In the words of Gary Hamel; “You can’t build an adaptable organization without adaptable people–and individuals change only when they have to, or when they want to.”
So it’s time for career change. You’re at the point of life; you just graduated from college, your first career leaves you bored, your long-term job leaves you empty or worn out. Now what? How do you assess the options, get advice and determine a new path? Philip Crosby says; “Slowness to change usually means fear of the new.” Career change is a scary business, fraught with obstacles—a resistant spouse, financial concerns, fear of failure. Where do you start? What should you consider? Such worries have prevented many high-achievers from reaching beyond their comfort zone, but the most significant rewards come from taking the most significant risks; otherwise, you may be filled with regret at the end of your life—and that prospect creates even more despair than the change itself. When making any career changes, it’s relevant to as yourself a few questions; Who are you and what do you want? What were the high points in your career that gave you a jolt of energy and pride? What makes you happy? What do you want more or less of in your life?

Leadership

Strong Leadership is by far the most crucial role in anyone’s personal or professional life. Whether you lead your family into the promise land or you lead your support team to the next level of financial success, it takes a few good leaders to set the example for others to reach their full potential. Simply put, leadership and organizational culture is the collective result of how people on the team think and behave, their shared values and how they react to internal and external stimuli. An individuals or company leadership style is either decisively created and nurtured from the very beginning or – more typically – it develops haphazardly over time through the beliefs and experiences of those on the team. When an organization is facing the need for some change to remain competitive, cut costs, develop new products, become more efficient or improve quality, often the culture is going to have to transform as well. Almost always. Because a new way of doing things requires a new way of thinking, especially from the leaders at all levels, and many studies show that the majority of significant organizational change efforts fail if not executed with a clear vision and plan.
Albert Einstein said; “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”  The level of productivity often has a direct effect on a company’s profits. The more work or products you output in a certain period of time, the better you’re utilizing your resources, and the more you have available for increased long-term goal setting during that period. Since a business operates to maximize its profitability, any change in productivity positive or negative is worth addressing. Distractions in the workplace often negatively affect productivity. Issues regarding worker morale often cause changes in productivity. When workers feel slighted, disregarded or that their work is unappreciated that usually causes a drop in morale. It is essential for the company to monitor productivity closely and make changes as quickly as possible when it drops consistently.
The topic of culture and change is a challenging one. Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying; “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” Changing an organizational or personal culture is the toughest task you will ever take on. Both types of culture were formed over years of interaction among the participants in your experience. In business, changing the accepted organizational culture can feel like rolling rocks uphill. Organizational cultures form for a reason.  Perhaps the current culture matches the style and comfort zone of the company founder and the senior team. Culture frequently echoes the prevailing management style. Since managers tend to hire people just like themselves, the established organizational culture is reinforced by new hires as well as the actions and behavior of longer-term staff members. Like attracts Like, or Law of Attraction. However you put it, organizational culture grows over time. For people to consider culture change, usually a significant event must occur. An event that rocks their world such as flirting with bankruptcy, a significant loss of motivation and purpose, a new CEO with a different outlook and agenda or losing a million dollars, might get peoples’ attention. Even then, to recognize that the organizational culture is the culprit and to take the necessary steps to change it is a tough journey. In no way is the intention to trivialize the difficulty of the experience of organizational culture change as summarized in this article. It takes prioritization and consistent, constant attention.
“When you believe in your dream and your vision, then it begins to attract its own resources. No one was born to be a failure.” Myles Munroe.  Great visionaries change the world people like Mother Teresa helping the poor, and Steve Jobs with the iPhone. You may feel that you want to do something great in the world, but don’t really know where to start. What makes great people different? People who accomplish great things each start with what I liked to call “surface vision” of what they want, then they follow that vision relentlessly. Achieving clarity of vision is not always easy. It requires dedication and focus. Think of all the things that you want out of life. Think about things you would like to accomplish, people you want to help, things you want to build, awards or fame you would like to have, people you would like to know. Dream really big. What would you most regret if you didn’t accomplish it in your life? What are some spoken or unspoken goals that you have in the back of your mind?  You may be surprised at the thoughts that surface: Ideas that you once dreamt about but had almost forgotten, goals and dreams that you had pushed aside because they seemed unattainable, or goals that you always meant to accomplish “someday. Take your time and let all these thoughts percolate to the surface. Get it all down. You have got to start somewhere.

Financial

All finance transformation projects should begin with the big question: Why? Where am I going? What are my goals? Setting a destination vision provides a target that articulates not only what finance wants to be, but also how it will support and meet individual, business, corporate, and regulatory obligations. With this vision, investment can identify the full menu of change requirements. Committing to making a financial change is a lot easier said than done. However, there are a few necessary steps you can take if you’re someone who is trying to get themselves on the right financial path. The first step is not to get overwhelmed. Take one area at a time, and they divide and subdivide into smaller more manageable projects and goals. If you’re someone who is used to spending without checking their bank account and has never prioritized savings, implementing financial discipline can shock you.
“A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.” Suze Orman. If your investments aren’t yielding the returns, you hoped they would, and you might be tempted to sell them and reinvest elsewhere. If things are going well, you may want to cash out and move on to the next investment. While changing strategies can be a good idea, it’s better to base those decisions on analysis and in the context of your long-term investment plan rather than on speculation or instinct. So, before you make an impulse move, surround yourself with expert in their fields who can guide you into successful changes.  Also, ask yourself the a few questions like; Have my financial needs/circumstances changed? Has my investment horizon or risk tolerance changed? Are my investments under-performing? Are my investments outperforming? These simple but impactful questions will ensure that the smallest of changes will not affect your bottom line.
“In real estate, you make 10% of your money because you’re a genius and 90% because you catch a great wave. Jeff GreeneReal estate is a great investment for many reasons. You can enjoy an excellent rate of returns, amazing tax advantages and leverage real estate to build your wealth. Here are the top five reasons why real estate is a great investment. Real estate provides better returns than the stock market without as much volatility. There will always be value in your land, and value in your home. Other investments can leave you with little to no tangible asset value such as a stock which can dip to zero, or a new car which decreases in value over time. An investment in real estate is not only a safe financial investment, it is also an investment that can provide years of fun, happiness and priceless memories that will last a lifetime.
“I don’t like paying taxes, but I like sleeping at night.” Leonardo Del Vecchio When you have a positive perspective about taxes you don’t view them as a “necessary evil” or as the ultimate goal to avoid, instead, you align your tax planning with your lifestyle, and your financial goals. Shifting to a more positive money perspective doesn’t happen overnight for most of us. Some of our existing judgments about taxes may have come from how we were taught or bad experiences. Awareness is the first step. When we look into the habits, we’ve developed and the core beliefs we have about taxes, change becomes possible. By starting with our values and goals and using money as a tool to achieve those goals, we can build a life that feels truly rich.

Lifestyle

You’re feeling motivated to eat better, exercise more, drink less caffeine or make any number of the positive lifestyle changes you’ve been telling yourself you want to make. You’ve tried before — probably declaring another attempt at a New Year’s resolution — but without feeling much success. Making a lifestyle change is challenging, especially when you want to transform many things at once. This time, think of it not as a resolution but as an evolution. Lifestyle changes are a process that takes time and requires support. Once you’re ready to make a change, the tricky part is committing and following through. So, evolve into the process. Make the difference a part of the evolution that will prepare you for success. Careful planning and strong support mean setting small goals and taking things one step at a time.
“Living in happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley, The idea of being mindful, being present, being more conscious of life as it happens, may seem contradictory to those who are used to sacrificing living for pursuing their goals, but cultivating mindfulness, will help you achieve your goals and enjoy life more. But more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the single best way to enjoy life to the fullest and to be present living every moment. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, and you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more. Even things you might think are drudgery or boring, such as housework, can be amazing if you are truly present. Try it: Wash dishes or sweep or cook, and remain fully present.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta  If you are prepared for drastic changes in your life start traveling.  Traveling is one of those things that everybody wants to do, but most people don’t. They allow even the smallest situation to stop them from going on a life-changing trip. Despite certain circumstances, sometimes you just have to make the decision to go to that place you’ve always wanted to visit. There is a good chance it can change your life. Below, I have listed a few ways that traveling can inspire a massive life change.
Jonathan Clements “Many people have the time of their lives in retirement, while others feel adrift, especially when they are in transition to their new lifestyle.” Retired baby boomers say they had challenges adapting to the changes in their lives, one survey showed. Among the toughest parts: Missing the day-to-day social connections with colleagues, getting used to a new and different routine and finding ways to give meaning and purpose in their days. The best advice for making the transition to retirement and making the most of life. Realize that retirement may be your best opportunity to maximize time spent doing what you really like. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself ‘permission’ to break old habits and create new patterns.”

Health & Wellness

Any positive changes in surrounding your life always start with a solid foundation when your mind, body, and soul are all in alignment. According to Forbes, “strong Health and Wellness Management support are crucial to the success of any individual’s life or personal life and workplace.” As leaders, managers have the opportunity to build supportive work environments that promote employee health and well-being. Employee wellness is a smart investment for today’s managers. Research has shown the link connecting employee health behaviors with healthcare costs and the bottom line. Support team and employees need a manager’s support to create a thriving culture of wellness and sustainable behavior change.

“Taking care of your physical health is just as important as any career move or responsibility.” Mireille Guiliano. According to LiveStrong; there are many stages to change for physical well-being. First, there is pre-contemplation which is the stage of doing nothing. You may feel comfortable with your level of physical activity or lack thereof. If someone else mentions a need for increased activity, you may deny it outright or ignore her advice.  Next is contemplation, this is the stage of awareness. This may be the stage of “I should . . .” statements, like “I should begin exercising,” or “I should lose weight.”  Then comes preparation here is the planning stage when you decide how you will fulfill your goals. At this stage, rely on experts for guidance or motivation to keep your plans realistic and attainable.  After comes action which may be the hardest part of the five stages for many people. It’s time to start working out.  Lastly, is the maintenance stage, is a stage of accomplishment. Your clothes may fit differently. You may have a lower resting heart rate or perform more quickly for longer periods of time without needing rest. Maintenance is a long-term commitment. You can change your workout to stay motivated, but you have to keep working out. By taking this steps in your physical activity your life has changed successfully from when you were in the first started.

“I’m a complete human being. I’m very emotional and loving. I feel, I hurt, I give, I take, and also I think. I analyze. I’m a sociologist, anthropologist.” Erykah Badu Every change costs someone something. One of those costs, which is often underestimated by those leading change, is the emotional response to change. All change has an emotional response. Realizing and recognizing the emotions of change can help you better lead through the change. Acknowledging someone’s emotions goes a long way towards helping them accept it. Change is hard either way, but if you ignore the emotions, you’ll find yourself always battling to make change successful. Next time you’re in the midst of change, which if you’re in leadership should be often watching for and find ways to acknowledge the emotions of change. Don’t limit these emotions to leadership. They are true in all relationships,  in marriage, parenting, and life. Where change is occurring, emotions are sure to be found.
We see all too often, especially in today’s world how important mental health is to living an all-around healthy life.  Vikram Patel said it well; “There is no health without mental health; mental health is too important to be left to the professionals alone, and mental health is everyone’s business.” Major changes to your life or lifestyle can sometimes lead to depression or feelings of dissatisfaction or dullness in one’s life.  Major life change, particularly if the changes are dramatic and/or unexpected, takes us out of our comfort zones, often towards an uncertain future. Major life change is anything that impacts on your life or lifestyle in a significant way. It may be a seemingly positive change, and one you planned, or it may be a negative or entirely unexpected changes. It may not seem so significant to others, but it will be, for whatever reason, significant to you. During this change there is what I like to call the “void,” this is when we feel we have lost a way of life that was familiar to us, we may feel overwhelmed and sad. These feelings can then develop into a more entrenched sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and depression if not understood by a professional who can help understand and bring order to the overwhelming thoughts that come with change.

Relationships

Relationships naturally endure many changes, whether it's moving, starting a new job, spending time apart, getting married, or having children. While some changes can be severe, there's no need to see a difference as a bad thing. By being adaptive and communicating regularly, you and your partner can endure changes in your relationship. It’s a myth that people or relationships don’t change, In fact, it’s inevitable. Relationships go through different developmental stages and situations, such as job loss, health problems, financial issues and family conflict. Another myth is that change is dangerous. So many of us hear the word “change,” and we automatically assume the worst. But change can be positive and an “exciting influence on your relationship. When you add something new, which is what a change is, you can add new perspectives and understanding if you are open and not resistant. All change doesn’t have to have negative implications.

“Business is a game, played for fantastic stakes, and you’re in competition with experts. If you want to win, you have to learn to be a master of the game.” Sidney Sheldon Although change may be an inevitable part of doing business, it is not always embraced with open arms by employees, managers or business owners. Workers may be hesitant to leave the familiarity of their comfort zone or fear that they won’t be able to adapt to the change. While the short-term effects of change can sometimes be painful, it can have a positive impact on a business’ success in the long run. Change can help a business stay current with industry trends, which can make it more attractive to potential customers as well as help maintain current customers. The ability to embrace change can help employees in a business by creating new opportunities for all to succeed.
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” Desmond Tutu There is no other place that change will hit you harder than that of the family unit. If you are married with children, you will have the responsibility of how to balance between providing for their necessities and yet at the same time embracing the true essence of where your heart is leading you.  If you are not married, divorced or your children are grown, your children will battle with who they think you should be or who they ideally want you to be. If none apply, then the pressures of change can come from the parents who ideally had this perfect life planned out for you in their heads. Either way, when change occurs, we often find that the ones we love and trust most are the ones who will resist the change with the greatest degree. Often change can be a lonely road. The isolation can at times be unbearable. However, what is important is that in the end, you will set an example of what it means to be strong and fearless.  This in itself with inspire and encourage others to embrace changes that they only dreamed about.
“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” William Shakespeare If there is an area that is guaranteed to “change” during change it is that of friendships. Often change will happen and the friends you have had for ten years will not wholly understand much less be supportive of the sudden shift in lifestyle, jobs or relationships changes. Although you would like for them to continue with you on your life’s journey, prepare yourself as that may not always happen. This can be seen as a shock but understand that life is a journey.  Those who are meant to walk with us will appear and helps and those who are resistant to the change will shift to the side for a time or will be released permanently. Understand that all this is for your higher good and that when one area of support is removed, there will always be another added with all the love and vibrancy that once filled that space.