Can You Surf the Waves?
Are you adaptable or can you learn to be more adaptable? Even if you’ve never considered this prior to 2020, the situations around the pandemic make it clear that at times we all will have to adjust to circumstances beyond our personal control. Where and when is unknowable. The golden opportunities and gifts are what you learn from discomfort and readjustment. When you have to make a change even if it’s only for a period of time, can you find the silver lining?
For instance, when you excitedly take on a new role in an organization only to discover you have to do without all the resources you expected and thought you needed to get the job done (team members, budget, access to outside vendors, etc.). How can you see it with new eyes and vision to overcome the challenge and find a treasure in the process?
During my executive search years, I watched one of my placements who was accustomed to working for very large entertainment conglomerates with big budgets and lots of resources, struggle with a comparatively small budget at a privately owned business. He made great strides in this role and was highly praised and recognized by the company, while acknowledging it wasn’t what he had anticipated when he took the job. (He shared this with me in a personal conversational.) Another person I placed in the same marketing team came from similar circumstances – a huge package goods and media conglomerate. She had understood that working in a different culture would mean compromises and benefits. She loved the smaller community environment; her brilliance arrived during the problem solving of getting the most out of limited resources and shared staff. The two marketing executives were equally successful and adjustable and yet the package goods person also discovered a gift for problem solving. She found her treasure, her silver lining, as did the company.
A few months ago, I was speaking with a potential sponsor of a Human Resources organization where I sit on the Board. This marketing professional joined an HR software and consulting company during Covid and his experience was like the waves of an ocean – constantly ebbing and flowing. His team started as himself, then grew, then shrunk, then he reported into someone else and all the while being promised something different. He was the poster boy for adjusting to the consistency of inconsistency. Still, he told me he enjoyed his job, this organization’s culture and claimed to be learning a lot. Like a surfer, he rode the waves of change as they came. His resilient nature benefited him. This unusual opportunity offered him a chance to learn more about himself and his capabilities as well as his new company. He believed he received many gifts.
You, like all of us, navigated around continual change during the last year and a half. During this period, perhaps you learned how resilient you actually are. And, perhaps you had a new view of what truly matters to you. You also realize random circumstances will continue to affect you going forward, if not now, at some point. With perhaps a new perspective, how can you parlay that personal resiliency and adaptability to your work situation? How can you be a role model, (like the packaged goods executive or the software director), for your team in bringing a positive outlook focusing on the present?
Fluctuating circumstances have thrown you off kilter – whether you’ve been in the same organizational position, have started a new job, or are with a new company. We can work together so that you and your team can become more adaptable and discover the gifts through your current situation.
My work as a leadership and communication expert has me go into organizations, as an outside unbiased view to look at the gaps. I identify what an organization is missing that’s holding it back from thriving and continuing to stay relevant. Have practices become entrenched or no longer fit your plans for today’s workplace and goals? Contact me: Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com Let’s talk.