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Leadership Thought #274 – New Isn’t Always Better But It Is Reality

December 30, 2011

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New isn’t always better but it is reality…

It’s interesting how the older we get the less willing many of us are to embrace change.  At some point we start preferring to look backwards rather than forwards in terms of making sense of our life.  The word “new” starts to lose its positive connotation.  I’m not exactly sure why this happens but I see evidence of it in almost every conversation I have with one of my peers.  Thank goodness there is always a younger generation behind us pushing the envelope in terms of what’s possible and could be better.  At minimum, as a society we need the collective adaptive capacity to adjust to changing circumstances.

Things will never be the way they were or stay the way they are now.  Think about your own life and how different it is from only 5 years ago.  Technology tools most of us didn’t even know existed are now a regular part of everyday life.   How many channels do you now have on your TV and are you listening to satellite radio in your car or computer?  The idea of “green living” has gained incredible momentum with recycling, a commonplace daily activity.  Health care advances continue to boggle the mind and prolong life.

Sadly, you’ve lost some people close to you but also gained important new relationships.  You’ve watched people get married and/or divorced, have kids or some combination of these events.  Children around you have grown up and become young adults.  You’ve seen people retire or change careers while others have received big promotions.  Some people you know have bought their first house while others may have sold their last one.  Your economic situation has either improved or gotten worse or been a shifting combination of both.  The bottom line is that nothing ever stays the same.

New isn’t always better, but it is reality. In fact, in business circles these days we often refer to the “new normal” and how it’s affecting geopolitics, the economy, various industries and markets, and individual business situations.  All the data points to the fact that you fail to adjust and adapt to these events at your own risk.  Moreover, the pace of change is only accelerating.   Each of us must embrace the fact that many of the things we currently take for granted will inevitably shift and be different.  I encourage you to look forward not backward and embrace the concept of “new” in your life.