Change has played a pivotal role in my life. Even before I knew it, change was preparing me for my career—and helping me to see the future with fresh eyes.
When I was young, my family moved eight times between my birth and when I started college. Once, we moved just down the street. Mostly, we relocated across town, a couple of times to neighboring cities.
I became an expert on taking apart my bed frame and headboard (without losing the hardware) and learned early to keep only the dearest belongings, pack light and build new friendships. I had some guardian angels along the way, including great teachers. We also had a family friend who offered to serve as my legal guardian when we moved just prior to my senior year of high school, sparing me a challenging change.
The frequent pivots did not feel strange to me at the time. I didn’t know anything different. And they prepared me well for a work life centered around a suitcase, serving clients in various industries.
Fast forward to 2019, which was no different in my autobiography of change. In the span of three months, three big shifts happened:
What a year of change! And I brought all of them on voluntarily, except for becoming a military mom. I’m proud of my son yet am still getting used to this new role.
In my professional life — working for school districts, state agencies, nonprofit organizations and companies — much of my focus has been on helping other people successfully navigate change. Doing it well is also known as “managing transitions,” thanks to William Bridges’ guidebook originally published in 1991.
Here’s my Cliff’s Notes summary:
Change is a constant, but how people get through it (as individuals and in groups) is what really makes life interesting.
Marcel Proust said, “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” What a perfect statement about the human process of transition in the midst of change! This crystallizes the reality that successful change means a shift of perspective.
Sometimes, we just need to get new eyes for the road ahead. We may find this clear view through our own self-reflection, seeking others’ perspectives or just being constantly curious and never giving up.
Why is it that sometimes we are successful change navigators, and other times we are not?
I’ve found a few truths about change that have worked for me and for others –– and there’s no better time than a new year to share them.
From what I’ve seen, it requires sustained commitment on three levels:
In three upcoming FrazierHeiby blog posts, I’ll address each of these commitments and explore a path to clarifying your 2020 change vision. This topic isn’t just one for the New Year’s resolutions list –– it’s timeless!