Sitting on a Lily Pad
Imagine a swamp. Frogs are croaking, dragonflies are buzzing around. Turtles are surfacing just enough so you can see their little heads. Alligators are swimming around, waiting for their next prey. A lonely frog sits on a lily pad, observing all that is going on around him. It seems like a normal day, but to this tiny frog, it is chaos. Everything is always changing, and he is overwhelmed. He sees the alligator slowly swimming toward him with a look of hunger in his eyes. The frog knows he has to jump, but he isn’t ready. What if there’s something else in the water? Why can’t I stay safe, here on my lily pad?
You know the feeling. That feeling when everything around you is changing, and you don’t want to change. You wait and wait, safely on your lily pad, but suddenly, you have no choice but to jump. To some, like the alligator, change is what drives them – what feeds them. But to others, like the frog, change is scary – it’s unknown.
There comes a point in every business, whether you like it or not, that you have to embrace change or you will fall behind. But how? When you don’t know what’s around the corner, how can you accept it and move forward?
- Change your perspective. When something is different, a red flashing light goes off in the back of our minds. This is our cue to stop. Slow down. But, does it have to be? Even though it’s not what you’re used to, does it have to mean stop? Instead, change your perspective – don’t stop…Proceed with your eyes wide open.
- Stop reacting. For many, dealing with change means that they have to fix whatever is thrown at them. They have to fight fires. Instead, be proactive. You know the change is coming, so take charge and anticipate the “what ifs.” Make sure you’re prepared.
- Figure out how it can work for you. Just because we don’t like it, doesn’t mean it can’t be good for us. Find the silver lining. If something is changing in our business, it’s probably because it’s more efficient, cost-effective, or simply easier. Figure out how it applies to you and make it work.
- Be the alligator. Every business has frogs, and every business has alligators. You can be the frog that has no say in what’s going on around you. Or you can work with the alligators and voice your opinion on how things should be. When you are invested in the change, most of the time you will learn to support it too, which makes it much easier to handle.
Change will never be easy. For some, it’s in our DNA to reject it. But that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. In today’s world, if you stay safely on your lily pad, you will be eaten by alligators. It’s time to jump.