A Career of Change

Throughout my career, I have often found myself in the midst of organizational change, such as...
  • reorganizations
  • takeovers
  • mergers
  • technology rollouts
  • downsizings
I've been involved in turnarounds, in culture change initiatives, and in new business idea development. As an Organization Development consultant, I helped facilitate needed change.

On top of these organizational changes, I have been personally touched by change, losing jobs on several occasions when my employers decided to make cuts in the workforce.

This "career of change" has molded me into a something of an expert on change. I even wrote a book on the topic some years ago, called Change for the Better.

Now, at this stage of my journey, as a career transition consultant, I bring my "experience of change" to help people who are going through the difficult passages of career upheaval.

I was once asked: "What are the top 3 qualities of a successful Organizational Change Agent?"

My answer: I'll go with the 3 C's.

Consultative - Approaches change situations with a spirit of inquiry, observing, listening, asking questions, learning...striving to understand the client's needs before moving to solutions. The posture is one of humility, recognizing how much I do not know.

Communication skills - Effectively uses all channels of communication to achieve mutual understanding in highly complex, sometimes uncertain, ambiguous, and conflicted, situations.

Change - Deeply and personally understands what it means to experience change.

This career of mine did not come about by design. Instead, I have often realized that I was the right person in the right place at the right time:
  • Someone who understood change at a deep personal level, as well as concepts and models of change
  • Someone who is comfortable riding the ambiguous and uncertain waves of change
  • Someone who can stay calm and keep his wits about him when others are "losing it"  
  • Someone who others could depend upon to be there and to come through
  • Someone with the ability to stay steady and see a way through
  • Someone who can communicate calmly and lead fearlessly though the way ahead is anything but clear
  • Someone with the moxie to take action when others are paralyzed by fear and panic
  • Someone who can be a strong centered presence for others if nothing else
Change can be an strange place to be. There are no clearcut boundaries. It's hard to see where you are. Or to know if the end is in sight.

You often don't know what is going to happen next.

In such situations, trust becomes paramount.

Trust in yourself, for starters.

Trust in others that you are close to. In my case, my wife Joan who has always been my go-to coach for unvarnished feedback.

And yes even trust in a high power.  Perhaps that very power that has guided you thus far.

Terrence Seamon has had a career of change. It has helped him to be keenly aware of the changes that others are going through. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

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