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The Only Thing Constant is Change

Posted on 07/03/2014 by Anna Sullins

 "The Only Thing Constant Is Change"

These words were spoken over 1500 years ago by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, and are certainly as applicable today as they must have been then.

Whether in our personal lives or in business, change is inevitable. And yet we still seem to find ourselves in a state of flux whenever faced with the very change that we knew would come. Organizational change, whether significant or minute, is rarely easy, but organizations can persevere, given the right tools, attitude and leadership.

Biltmore’s Vice President of Finance and Technology, Mark Pickel, made some very clever observations about the role that leadership plays in organizational change:

Of all of the characteristics I have witnessed in my career, resilience and perseverance seem to be common traits of leaders who accomplish great things. Resilience is an ability to overcome setbacks, respond rapidly to changing conditions, recognize results that did not materialize as expected, and have the courage to make a correction to one's flight path as needed. Resilience is not accepting the permanence of any current state: success or failure. The environments we work in constantly change, evolve, morph into things we cannot see with clarity or certainty.

The leader's challenge is to accept there is opportunity in uncertainty, plot a course, execute plans with resolve, and most importantly: keep thinking.

Resilience requires actively thinking from multiple angles, looking for patterns in outcomes and commonalities with past experiences. To mine opportunity from uncertainties, leaders must maintain comfort in fluid environments and use their tools of patience and boldness in balance.

Perseverance is best served on a plate of gratefulness with a side of humility. Strategies will at times fail, fairness is many times an ideal more than a reality, and one must assume those we compete against in the market are executing expansion plans, perhaps at our firm's expense. Perseverance requires motivating others to keep moving forward, holding firmly to the expectation of success. Perseverance sets an expectation of walking towards uncertainty with confidence, while remaining grateful for those who will rise in support when setbacks occur. Perseverance is the professor that reminds us there is much more to learn, and our education will not come easy.

Great leaders know resilience and perseverance well.

Do you want to know more about leading and cultivating change? Join us for our professional development program, Cultivating Change on November 4, 2014 or August 17, 2015 on the Biltmore Estate. Call 828-225-6158 for more information, or for a full schedule of our programs, visit www.biltmore.com/training

 

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