In Times of Change...

The other day, I had an interesting discussion with a Millennial about change. They give you a different perspective of things and situations, no doubt about it. They can make you reassess your thoughts. They also get irritated because you are not so adept at technology use, or they jokingly make fun of you. They move fast, act fast, change fast.... Some perceive them as a threat. They are just different. But different is not necessarily bad, right? Dare to be different. Sounds familiar?

Well, I like to keep an open mind. Not too long ago, I overheard a conversation among coworkers commenting on "To what extent do we have to accept diversity?" Ha ha!! It was a group of baby boomers and Xers talking about some new hire: a Millennial. Talking about generational conflict. Not always expressed out loud, always present.

As for me, I was having a direct insight on Millennials' approach to business in general. On organizational structure, or restructuring: my argument was who on earth, being in a right mindset, would decide to bring 100% new leadership blood at one -same - given time? No overlap, no apparent seamless transition. My notion of new blood infusion - although theories are debatable - never reached 100%....My Millennial interlocutor to give examples of government changes: "Have you ever noticed that when the Government changes, everybody has to go? They (whoever the decider is) want to bring changes...they are brought to that position to bring change..." Well, I reserve the right to think that decisions are not easily made and require not only strong ethics but also practical notions of the industry or organization. It also calls for common sense from the greatest ethical minds...unless you want to go to war, meaning unless you want aggressive change. My counter-argument was the example of executive boards. Aren't they renewed following certain criteria for specific reasons? A minimum of stability or some sense of transition seems to be necessary to me.

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And then the unavoidable question came: "Have you ever been through changes in organizations?" Ha ha! Ouch! Lesson from a Millennial! Have I ever been through changes? I might just well be called the result of change! Have been there in so many facets: change agent, communicating it, implementing it, breathing it, seeing it in employee's faces and lives and attitudes...yes, I have been there in so many ways..."No, they don't like staggering because the equilibrium could take over. That's why they change all at once." It was stated in a matter-factually way, no bias, no personal involvement. Just stating a fact. Learn from their positive outlook of situations. I can appreciate how Millennials or Yers think. It is somehow refreshing...

And yes, I can embrace change. But most of all, I DO admire people who have the capacity to accept change with humility and almost what could appear as detachment. I know that it does not come easily. In fact, it can be a painful and excruciating experience. Some people cannot recover from changes. Some thrive through changes. And some others, I am sure, not too many, have that inner ability to accept it and still be their own self. Is it courage, humility, integrity, focus? Judge for yourself. I came to the conclusion that those are the great leaders of all times. They "swallow" the change and wherever else they go, whatever else they do, they still will instill confidence in what they are doing, will inspire others, will demonstrate that calm authority that emanates from great leaders. Those are the leaders that we do remember and inspire us. They accept change: they ARE the real change of all times.


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