The Upside of Change


I would like to thank my past leadership coaching client Elena Izmailova for being a guest blogger this month. Elena is one of the reasons I finally wrote and published Career ReCharge! She found my Benatti Resiliency Model extremely helpful in her personal recharge and career success. I am grateful for her continued support and the opportunity to share her wisdom with you.

Let’s be honest, people hate change. Why? Because it disrupts the status quo, because it pushes them out of their comfort zone, because it brings what is unknown and uncertain, which causes stress. However, whether we like it or not, change is here, and we have two options: resist or embrace. Resisting is unproductive and can be exhausting, with no gain in the end.

Embracing change leads to a transition.

How we experience this transition is up to us. As an old adage says, “You get out what you put in”. Transitions can be extremely uncomfortable and disruptive but at the same time, they bring the biggest opportunities. They are an opportunity to innovate and this is where the fun starts.

Our brains are wired to crave fresh information and try unfamiliar activities. This is why people travel, watch new movies, and experiment with different hobbies. These examples are safer bets than doing something innovative in your line of work because the risks there can be higher. However, the rewards can have more impact because innovation is a chance to make a difference in other people’s life, not just your own.

The historical examples of innovation range from the maritime route to India to the invention of smart phones. The triggers behind innovation vary too: from pressing necessities to a desire to create something new no one has seen before.

Innovation is risky. It is important to remember that the examples of innovation we know of come from those who succeeded; innovation attempts which failed went into oblivion. The other important thing to remember is that once an innovative solution establishes itself, only close followers succeed and remain in business. Others are left out. The discovery of the maritime route to India left the traders on the Silk Road losing their business and many trading centers along the road declined, quickly covered by the desert sand. The competitors of the smart phones were phased out very quickly once the adoption of this new technology took hold.

The bottom line is that those who dare to innovate have a chance to succeed; those who play it safe do not have this chance and miss all the fun of discovering and learning something new and possibly, having an impact on the world around them.

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