Updated: May 12
I recently came across a blog by renowned management consultancy, McKinsey & Company, titled "How to develop a growth mindset".
Within the blog, the most noteworthy recommendations were to:
"build adaptability as an evergreen skill"; and
"create a learning culture"; and
"stay grounded when the only constant is change".
Timely advice in what is a very unpredictable chapter of being a human on earth! Disruption abounds. Covid, the shift to hybrid workplaces, the trend in resignations, the uprising of entrepreneurs and people making a go of it "outside the system", a shocking war, very strange and high impact weather events (at least for us in Sydney Australia, with intense bushfires and floods in the past couple of years). There's been, and continues to be, a lot to adapt to.
All of this brings to mind a quote that is often attributed to Charles Darwin, however other sources attribute it to a business professor named Leon C. Megginson:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change”.
At a time of rapid change, what is becoming increasingly important is our ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment, and to remain grounded in clear thinking while we adapt.
With that said, here are 3 tips for optimising your ability to adapt in the most functional way during a time of constant change:
1. Set a "North Star" goal.
A clear outcome you would like to create. Become clear on "What" you want and "Why" you want it. Then, be very flexible on the time frame and "How" you will achieve this goal. Having a clear outcome or goal keeps us grounded when change is about. It allows us to filter all possible new and changing options through the lens of the future we want to create, allows us to stay grounded and make better decisions that our future self will thank us for.
2. Stay humble.
Be willing to take 1 step backwards, so that you can eventually land on the best path forward. For example, perhaps you were an established lawyer, but now that you've clarified your life values and vision, you realise you want to become a psychologist. This will require that you're willing to "start again" in some aspects. Being willing to be a beginner, to be a student, to take on more junior roles and tasks in this new field, can be crucial to getting on that new track at all. Pride can be a real "blocker" to where you want to go. If you allow no job to be beneath you, and you're willing to "start again", you absolutely can skyrocket off in the direction of where you want to land. It will all move far more quickly the second time around when you make a career change, as you will come to the table with much experience and wisdom from your previous career. So, trust in the process and be willing to be seen starting small again. Play the long game. Letting go of your pride to delay instant gratification now, will likely allow for even better long term gratification in future. Be willing to do what it takes now, in service of the "future you".
3. Change your mind.
As I've often seen Susan David, PhD (Psychologist) write: "It's important to know when to grit, and when to quit". Grit is important. Quitting is an important skill too. Give yourself permission to change your mind when something is clearly no longer serving you, is no longer on the way to your north star or is the thing most holding you back. You are only ever 1 decision away from an entirely different life, and sometimes that 1 decision absolutely must be made for you to move forward. Clarity comes while in motion, and as new information and clarity arises, it's important to act on that clarity. Sometimes the magic truly is outside your comfort zone. The outcomes you want might just be on the other side of letting go of that thing you know you need to but are absolutely terrified to.
Did you read that and immediately find objections, fear or limiting beliefs popping up in response?
1on1 coaching with me might just be exactly what you need to support you during this time of rapid change and instability.
Book a "free discovery call" with me now to find out more.