A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to make a new and long lasting commitment to myself to improve my abilities as a Leader and as a Communicator. To facilitate this improvement I decided to move forward with something that I had been thinking about for years and joined a local chapter of the Toastmasters International. On Tuesday night I was asked to take over one of the speaking spots at our First Meeting at our new facility, a pretty big honor and without hesitation I jumped at the chance.
Each week at our Club we do what is called Literary Corner and with a topic of Moving I was asked to find a reading to do that meets that theme…if you have ever done a Google Search on that topic…well lets say beyond moving companies and children’s books there are slim pickings until I located what has become a standard in the world of Change Management and Leadership Development.
I located a copy of Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson and while I had read through this little PDF years ago I really had not thought much about it since that point.
I looked at my assignment and read through the eBook and thought this would be a perfect look at the way that we all deal with change and move forward. For those who have not read the book, a Hardcopy version is available over at Red Tree Leadership.
To give you a mini synopsis, the story follows 4 main characters. Two Mice named Sniff and Scurry and two “Little People” (beings who were as small as mice but who looked and acted a lot like people today) named Hem and Haw. The names as I am sure you can guess fit the characters personalities and also define their reaction to the inevitable change that occurs within the Maze that is their mutual home when the supply of Cheese is moved.
I would like to think that I am like Sniff when it comes to change but like the vast majority of us I fear that I spend much of my time thinking like Haw and when change occurs around me I will be among the loudest voices saying things like:
This should not happen to us, or if it does, we should at least get some benefits.”
“Why should we get benefits?” Haw asked.
“Because we’re entitled,” Hem claimed.
The future for all of us is going to include change. We will need to make real decisions of how we will react to that change. Will you be like Sniff and always have our nose in the air prepared for the winds of change? Will you be like Scurry and be darting off in search of the Cheese, accepting that change is inevitable and be ready for the next move? Or will you be like the Little People like Hem…thinking that the universe should revolve around you and that change is inherently bad and that YOU are entitled to what you have today forever? Or finally will you be like Haw and while slow to accept change you eventually embrace it and and make the best of the situation?
Change and Moving Forward do go hand in hand. Don’t be Hem…what you have today can be gone tomorrow. Life tends to be a fickle master and Karma is a Bitch so always remember to pay it forward. Give when you are able, Love like there is no tomorrow and always prepare for the winds of Change…they NEVER stop blowing.
Chris J Powell