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Change—Becoming a Champion

You may be disappointed if you fail; trust you are doomed if you don't try.
BEVERLY SILLS

In life, always tell yourself that things are fine as they are, but
would be even better if they were different.

JEAN-PAUL FILION

Change is a fact of life in the new millennium. Those who are waiting for the dust to settle are living in a world of fantasy. Change will continue, with one difference — it will happen more often and it will take place in bigger increments. You must adapt or die like the dinosaur. Here are some strategies to help you become the master, not the slave.

AVOID BEING JUDGEMENTAL

  1. Keep an open mind about situations and events around you. Don't allow personal prejudices to cloud your vision. Don't rush to judgement. Listen and let yourself be influenced rather than clouding your mind with rebuttals. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Ask yourself if your resistance is based on fact or on a personal bias.

KEEP ON LEARNING

  1. You're never too old to learn. In fact, we can learn something every day. Don't wait for the classroom — learn from your mistakes. Maintain an attitude of inquisitiveness. Find out everything there is to know from those willing to share. Read voraciously — books, magazines, the Internet. Jot down key points of interest and keep them in a file to review regularly.

LOOK FOR THE NEXT TREND

  1. Trends and fads are not the same, nor are they necessarily bad. The fact is that organizations, like people, follow trends. By observing and learning about what is new, you can position yourself as an expert and take a leadership role in making changes. This will give you greater control of the changes.

FOSTER A RESOURCE NETWORK

  1. Continually expand your sources of help and information. Keep in touch with people whose careers are taking off. Find out what they are doing, that perhaps you are not. Subscribe to magazines that stay on the leading edge. Look for key articles each month.

BE A PROBLEM-SOLVER, NOT A PROBLEM-CREATOR

  1. Anyone can spend his life identifying problems. There are more than enough to go around. Pointing these out can become tiresome to the people around you, particularly if they respond with "It's not my job." Be willing to identify solutions if there is a problem, and consider making time to solve it. This will earn you a reputation as a "fixer" — the kind of person chosen for promotions.

ENJOY YOURSELF

  1. Have fun. Laugh a lot. It's contagious. Life's too short not to have fun. People work better when they are enjoying themselves. And humour enables everyone to relax and open themselves to change.

KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

  1. Every new situation can be looked at in one of two ways: as a problem or as an opportunity. Choose the highway, not the byway. Make each challenge an opportunity to test your intellect and resilience.

SHOW INDEPENDENCE

  1. Some people are dependent and others independent. Dependent people point to others when they are challenged. They say, "You screwed up," "It's not my responsibility," "You decide." Independent people say, "I'll fix it," "I'll take responsibility," or "I'll make the time." Be willing to step up to the plate. No one ever learned to play the game from the bleachers.


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