Change is hard to prepare for. I think the most we can do to prepare is to be open-minded, and attentive.
Much of my work is centered around helping others plan for change, implement change, or sustain change. The way I help them do this varies depending on the culture, the vision, and the foundations already in place. One thing is common in all successful change initiatives, however, and that is a growth mindset. Many times, leaders can anticipate aspects of a necessary change, but not always the definitive plan or steps to accomplish the initiative. The best thing a leader can do to prepare themselves and their organization is to be in a steady place of growth – both professional and personal.
I spend some time each day on my professional growth. The easiest and most accessible means is by reading articles I find online. I have Google Alerts set up to deliver relevant content to my email each morning. I also follow exceptional leaders on LinkedIn and Twitter and can often find value in those social media feeds. In addition to reading the articles, I try to reflect on the articles and respond to them there, or write about them here. If I’m really excited by something I learned, I want to share it with others. I set daily goals for myself to read at least thirty minutes of content that will benefit my business and write at least 500 words a day for the same effect. If it grows my knowledge base, then it grows my business. I also have a long list of professional books in the queue for more in-depth learning. I have three that I’m reading right now. I don’t typically start multiple books at one time, but they were shared with me and applied to different work I was focusing on, so I’m trying to balance them all.
Growth can take on more forms than just “learning” in the traditional sense, too. I often have takeaways just from informal conversations with other industry leaders. Those connections always energize me, but its the sharing of passions, projects, and information that helps me prepare for whatever change is on the horizon. Overall, I think learning should be fun and beneficial. Will it always be fun? Of course not. But when it is, I’m more likely to continue it. Will it always be beneficial? Yes. I either learned something from the experience or learned that I won’t have that kind of experience again.