Making a change is simple; managing the transition is not.
Chinese fortune cookie messages and Chinese food share a common characteristic; both are easy not to remember. This assumption was about to change for me. Not long after my decision to leave a 10 year partnership at Vantage Associates and join my new firm HRM, an oriental waiter handed me a fortune cookie. It read, “Your judgment is a bit off at this time. Rely on friends.” I read it twice. I put it in my wallet.
When a significant change occurs, whether by choice or coercion, most people get off their game as they move through the highs and lows of transition. Different personalities respond in different ways. Some people second-guess their decision, feel a nagging sense of doom, over analyze and shut down. Others act fast, get very busy, dislodge their brain-to-tongue filter and do things they regret. Chief among stress-induced unproductive behaviors is neglecting to seek advice, either by hiding from people altogether, or just not listening to wise friends who can help.
Wisdom gained via good counsel is not breaking news. Over the centuries prophets, priests and parents have echoed this refrain. The Old Testament Book of Proverbs states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.” (15:22 NIV). Books of truth abound offering answers on how to live well in a changing world, but more often than not, the answers in those books are revealed to us at the right time in unexpected ways.
Last month I went back to that Chinese restaurant. The food was good – I think. My fortune cookie read, “Use your abilities at this time to stay focused on your goal. You will succeed.” I’m glad I didn’t get this last month. I would have left it on the table. Now I have two fortunes in my wallet. Both are worth remembering.
Journal Entry: What change do you expect to be facing in the near future? What do you need to remember not to forget? Which friends will you rely on during the transitions in your leadership and life?
Note of Gratitude: I thank each friend who has reached out to me since my career move from to HRM. I apologize for not being in touch for a while. I would enjoy hearing from each of you. You can reach me with this email, email@example.com. I will get back to you soon.
Simplifying your life frees up time for you to figure out what really matters.