Are You Adaptable? Here Are The 5 Characteristics That Ensure Sustainable Success In A Changing World

“Why are we changing . . . we have always done things around here the same way?”

You have probably heard that statement at least once if not many times during your career. You may have even had similar thoughts yourself, when you were faced with a directional shift that either caught you off guard or made you feel uncomfortable.

Don’t worry or feel bad if you have, because I can assure that you are not alone!

Over my many years as an executive coach and personal branding expert, I have helped countless people to navigate the shifting tides of the corporate world. Like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, change ironically is one of the few things that you can always count on.

The question is how do you respond or react when your view of the world is shaken?

Do you resist and lament change, or do you adapt and move forward?

In today’s post, I will share with you the 5 characteristics needed to ensure your ongoing value and success in a competitive and rapidly changing world.

1. Know What You Stand For!

The introduction to my book The Future Of You: Creating Your Enduring Brand is aptly titled “Before We Start Remember  . . . To Thine Own Self Be True.”

To be truly adaptable, you have to look for ways to continually align your abilities with both your work environment and your job’s expectations, while remaining true to your authentic self.

Greeting the new day

This is the key to being adaptable.

Adaptability is not a matter of acquiescing to change, because you would be merely surrendering to a situation rather than becoming a productive force within it.

When faced with change, upon what is your reluctance or resistance based?

If it doesn’t compromise your values or integrity, then you should be open to change. It doesn’t mean that you will automatically like it but, with an open mind, you’re willing to give proposed changes a fair chance.

2. Keep An Open Mind

Speaking about keeping an open mind . . .

You must always check your ego at the door.  In other words, go into any situation with an open mind. Regardless of what you hear, avoid being defensive or over justifying your position. Do not think about change in the context of being right or wrong.

Instead, embrace it as an opportunity to see a situation from someone else’s perspective.  Let’s face it, no one has all the answers, or knows the best way of doing things all of the time.

adaptability trust

Keeping an open mind also means that you have to trust the motives of the person facilitating or championing the change. Do you know the person well? Do you understand their reasons for wanting to make changes? If you don’t, then don’t be afraid to ask them.  It’s important for you to do so in a manner that does not appear being judgmental.

Open by saying, “I am very excited to learn more about the changes you are proposing. I’d like to gain a better understanding of why you believe this is the way to go.  In this way, I can support you and make a contribution to achieving the desired results.”

3. Curiosity Doesn’t Kill the Cat

Just as asking questions is meant to open a dialogue, curiosity opens up a world of new possibilities.

adaptability curiosity resized

By being curious, you are always looking for ways to do something better, to improve upon an idea or strategies for solving a complex problem.

When you are curious, you don’t jump to conclusions based upon a narrow view of the world. Instead, you will naturally seek to learn more – even before a proposed change is introduced. In fact, those who possess a curious mind and a courageous spirit, are often the ones introducing or leading change.

4. Be A Risk Taker

Lewis Carroll once said: “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”

Do you have the courage to consider a new path? Are you open to letting go of what you thought was the only way to do things, and embrace something different.

I have often found that resistance to change has more to do with a fear of not being able to adapt or moving outside of your comfort zone, as opposed to a belief that the proposed new idea is a bad one.

adaptability risk3

In this context, change is really about having the courage to take a step of faith. Do you have faith in yourself to succeed in any situation? If not, what is really holding you back?

5. Find Your Inner MacGyver

Back in the mid 1980s, there was a hit television show called MacGyver. In fact it was so popular, that the reboot of the show is scheduled to come out this September.

The main character, Angus MacGyver, was a secret agent who was incredibly resourceful and could solve complex problems by making things out of ordinary objects. In other words, he used whatever resources were available to overcome new and unexpected situations or challenges.

Corporate Army Knife

He didn’t lament what he didn’t have, or wish that the circumstances were somehow different. He adapted by being creative and thinking outside of the box.

  • Are you a creative and resourceful thinker?
  • Are you able to recognize the opportunity beyond the present circumstances to see the bigger picture . . . and your bigger future?

Elevate your Adaptability Quotient

To thrive in an environment of change and risk, you have to act quickly to read and act on signals of change. Build your brand reputation as someone who adapts strategically to uncertainty.  In this way, you will be seen as relevant, resilient and resourceful.




One response to “Are You Adaptable? Here Are The 5 Characteristics That Ensure Sustainable Success In A Changing World”

  1. Sylvia Liner says :

    Thank you for elaborating on what appeared to be a world of ambiguity and seeing things with a different perspective, maintaining the posture of faith about the change and where it may lead.

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