We are all aware that the business environment is changing. We should all know that it is constantly changing. What we may not be aware of is that the rate of change in the business environment is increasing. Things are changing at an increasingly faster rate. These facts have led me to the following rule:
If you are comfortable doing what you are doing, you are probably doing it wrong.
Change does not breed comfort. As you spend more time in your new leadership role, you learn its requirements and you get more comfortable. It is this “comfort level” that we all strive for that we should also be prepared to avoid. As the leader we can either react to change or we can lead it, but either way change is bound to occur.
Change requires effort. Those businesses that lead change force other businesses to react to it. As I have said, change causes discomfort. You have to learn a whole new set of requirements. However, I have found that it is almost always more preferable (and less stressful) to go through the change and learning process on your own terms instead of reacting to someone else’s.
As the leader you can either act on your own changes (new plans, processes, programs, organizations, etc.) in order to improve your business, or you can react to someone else’s changes as they try to improve theirs. In many cases you will need to change for both purposes. This may seem like a pretty simple view of things, but it is probably a pretty accurate description of the current business environment.
The point is that if you are too comfortable in your job, there is a good chance that you are not changing as either an action or reaction to the environment, and that will be a cause of even greater stress and discomfort in the future.