Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Why Do We Have To Go Through All This Change?

Dear Friend,

This tip is all about change.

I was talking with a coaching client of mine Erica. Erica has been a realtor for the past 6 years. About 45 minutes into our conversation, she asked me "Why did the marked have to change? I was doing great a year ago..." We talked about change for a few minutes, the hows and the whys. She then told me in a quite voice that the market change was also effecting her personal life. She said that she has no free time anymore, and it was putting stress on her children and her relationship with her husband.

You like me know that some times the best way to help someone is indirectly, without them knowing it at first. I chose to help Erica by telling her this story.

When Stacey was 12, she and her father, a pilot, took off on a Sunday afternoon joy-ride in their single-engine Cessna. Not long into the flight, and about a mile up over Lake Michigan, the joy of their father-daughter adventure cam to an abrupt halt. The engine quit.

Stacey's father turned to her and in a calm, reassuring tone said, "Honey, the engine has quit. I'm going to need to fly the plane differently."

(Interesting phrase: "Fly he plane differently." )

(Her father understood that the new challenges and changing conditions often require different strategies. Conditions change, markets change, people change. What works one day in a given situation does not necessarily work the next. We need to develop a repertoire of responses so we're prepared when our engine unexpectedly quits. )

In order to restart the engine, they needed more air speed. Stacey's father told her he would be hitting switches in the cockpit while he steered the plane downward. ("Toward the deep, cold waters of Lake Michigan!" I thought as heard the story.) Stacey understood, and sensing the gravity of the situation, quickly nodded her approval of Dad's plan.

Her father put the plane into a dive and fiddled with the switches, but nothing happened. He leveled off closer to the water. "Stacey, we're going to try that again." he said. "hang on!" They dove a second time. He hit the switches again as the plan gained speed, and this time the engine fired, first with just a few hopeful sputters, but finally with a secure, familiar hum.

About 20 minutes later, they landed safely. at that point, this Rock of Gibraltar kind of guy, this Fearless Father, this Man of Courage turned to his 12 year old daughter, lovingly patted her shoulder, and said, "Now honey, whatever you do, DON'T TELL MOM!"

I love this story. Not just for the drama and the humor, but for what it says about handling change. When faced with a new situation, Stacey's dad took action and solved the problem. But if he had resisted the change and instead spent his time whining and complaining, having thoughts like: Well, I've never done it that way before!" or asking "Why do we have to go through all this change?" things might have turned out much differently.

Are you facing change?
Changes in your business?
Changes in your personal life?
Any engines quit in your life lately?

If so, I would like to make the same suggestion that a made to Erica ask yourself better questions.
Experience shows that there is one question that really works:
"How Can I Adapt To The Changing World"

I hope that you found as much value in this story as my coaching client did.

Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
The best is yet to be!

Your Trusted Advisor For Life.
Jeffrey Stanton

You read Jeffrey's Journal every week because you, like me want the best for yourself.
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