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Never be blindsided again

Change is inevitable, and the more surprising it is, the less we like it. Creating your own agenda for change puts you back in control. It allows you to keep going on the things that matter most.

Take action on this, it’s the first of four keys to effective management.

levels of pain and satisfaction

Different levels of undesirable change can impact our satisfaction in different ways. The worst, of course, is undesirable change we didn’t see coming.

Getting a warning in advance is only slightly better.

We prefer to be involved in deciding or designing the change in the first place.

Real satisfaction? That comes from taking control and creating the change that was your idea in the first place. There will always be some unforeseen effects, but it’ll never feel quite like inferno again.

This feels out of reach for most people, but it doesn’t have to.

A different approach

Some intuition drives people to make “New Year Resolutions”. I think it’s because we naturally like a rhythm in our lives, and the end of yet another year just keeps on coming around.

I believe in a shorter cycle of improvement; but the one year term is great for planning.

Take time in November or December and review the areas of your business. What needs to be different in a year?

Step back a bit from your day-to-day work. This is critical anyways – I’m sure you know that. What does your business look like now, and what must it look like in a year?

Create a list that describes the difference you require, and the necessary changes you would have to create for each.

Not just a dream

This is not just a dreaming exercise. Once you have created a concrete list of the change you need in your business, it becomes your guide for the year.

To make the most of your work, follow three main review points. The third one is the most important.

  • Let it grow with you. Challenge this list each month and decide if it still meets your needs. Don’t change it lightly, but remain flexible as you grow.
  • Let it guide your weeks. Every Monday, review your list and plan the activities you will engage in to make those changes happen. Don’t get up until you have made activity commitments to somebody else. For example, email your commitments to your subordinates, your boss or your coach.
  • Let it be your compass. When things go off the rails and you are forced to put out fires, come back to this list first when you’re done. Don’t get back to work until you have reviewed this, the plan of your better self in better days. Allow that calm person to guide the frustrated one.

Taking back the stick

When you’re flying with a co-pilot, only one person can have control at a time. Verbal protocols ensure that somebody is always flying the aircraft.

This agenda for change can be your protocol for taking control of change. If you are moving proactively through life AND have a process for getting back on track, then when the unforeseen occurs, you will have a level of control most people only dream about.