Change Is Never Over

cliffhilton Blog

By: Gregg Dedrick, Co-Founder & President of David Novak Leadership

Change is never over. This statement might generate some type of reaction within you, and it could be positive or negative. But if you pause and think about it, you’ll discover there’s truth here. We are all living in a state of constant change. Did you know that an average person stays in the same job for only 4 ½ years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics?1  That’s a lot of change! Even preparing to change jobs requires you to reposition yourself, your plans, and maybe even develop new skills. This can be uncomfortable and is not always easy.  

Some changes are minor, while others are major. Seven years ago, I experienced a major change when I retired from Yum! Brands. This change in my life was exciting, but also uncomfortable!

My life includes two acts so far. Act 1 focused on my family (being a husband and father), my career, and building a nest egg. I experienced much success and many failures during Act 1. I learned and grew. I made tough decisions because my family was a top priority.  And I achieved success as a business leader by serving as President of KFC and Chief People Officer at Yum! Brands.  

Act 2 began when I retired from Yum! Brands. The plot for Act 2 was different from Act 1 because I entered the world of entrepreneurship. I quickly discovered that being an entrepreneur required different skills – skills of nurturing a new company from scratch verses leading a large organization. Relationships also changed as my daughters became my business partners – but that’s for another blog. I couldn’t rely on doing things the old way anymore.

The biggest challenge for me in Act 2 was transitioning from my comfort zone of connecting personally with others to the digital connections driven by social media. Digital learning appeared to be the best approach for the business, but I didn’t know much about this. I was presented with a challenge: am I willing to humble myself and learn the new skills required to embrace the digital world? Am I willing to learn from those younger than me, who thrive on digital learning and social media? Will I embrace the way of the future or live in the comfort of the past? Will I stay stuck or dive in and become a student of digital expression? But the biggest question I faced was this: Do I care enough to change?

After thinking about these questions, I decided I DID care enough to change. I chose to embrace the future and I became a student of the digital world. I took online classes to understand how to build a digital platform. I sought advice from those younger and experienced in the digital world. And you are experiencing some of what I’ve learned so far. There’s more to learn, and Act 2 isn’t finished yet, but I’m excited about learning how to make a positive impact on many through digital expression.  

I’m not the only person faced with this question: Do I care enough to change? Let me share another example from Act 1 in my life. Andy Pearson, the Co-Founder of Yum! Brands with David Novak, was 70 years old when David began launching the recognition culture. Recognition made no sense to Andy. And rightfully so, as Gallup Research reveals people in the workforce 10-15 years ago rated compensation, benefits, job security, and a company’s financial stability as the most important factors for job satisfaction. Today’s workforce values the following factors: 

  • Meaningful work where I can make a difference
  • Feeling a sense of pride in my work
  • Having someone invested in my growth and development
  • Being appreciated for the work I do

Andy was faced with this question: Do I care enough to change? When Andy decided he cared enough to change, he was faced with a new challenge: How do I embrace recognition even though I don’t understand it’s value? Andy showed humility and courage as he learned about recognition from people who were younger and more junior in the organization. He demonstrated his desire to change through his actions, and employees noticed and provided positive feedback to Andy through his 360 Feedback Report. I respect Andy’s example of caring enough to change.

Do You Care Enough to Change? 

At some point in your life, you will be faced with this same question:  Do I care enough to change?  In fact, you will probably answer this question many times in your professional and personal life. Change isn’t always easy. You may have to spend significant time learning. Yet change is possible IF you are willing to invest time, energy and effort. Change is possible IF you are willing to humble yourself and ask for help. Change is possible IF you believe in the value of learning and IF you let go of fear.

If you are ready to make a change, download this guide. It includes a 3×5 exercise to help you identify who you are today and how you can be even better tomorrow. I’ve used this exercise throughout my career and it helps me stay focused on who I’m becoming. The guide also includes a sample of my own 3×5 exercise.

“Change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn’t all bad — not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life — to keep us moving … to keep us growing … to keep us interested… Imagine life without change. It would be static … boring … dull.”  This quote from Dr. Dennis O’Grady in Bottom Line – Personal reveals the value of change.  Will you take action to show you care enough to change?  You never know how you can inspire others by caring enough to change.  

Leaders also inspire others by sharing what they learn. Who can you share this blog with today? Paying it forward through a simple share can make a big impact in someone’s life.

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