Survival Secrets of a Working Person – James Wylie – Medium
In the movie “Heartbreak Ridge”, Clint Eastwood plays a marine corps gunnery sergeant that is finding out that he is fast becoming an anomaly in today’s military. Being a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, he is placed in the role of training a group of contemporary misfits who looks at serving as a means to earn money not to really become trained soldiers. The big philosophy that he imparts on his men is that successful fighting units learn to improvise, adapt and overcome any situation they face. This philosophy paid dividends when they had to go into actual combat.
In today’s working world, whether you are an employee of a company or a business owner, you have to be able to adapt to ever changing situations. It could be a situation where technology upgrade is forcing employees to learn a new system. It could be a situation where a crisis has occurred and you need to do some damage control. It could be a situation where you are working with a new boss whose work demands are different than those that you were used to.
In each situation, we can borrow from the gunnery sergeant’s philosophy that we need to improvise, adapt and overcome. Sometimes it would mean overcoming our fears and the way we usually approach a challenge. We have to think out of box and tried to get a handle on what is happening.
I have noted through the years that successful people have expected and embraced change. These types of people are willing to adapt themselves to new conditions. These types of people are always willing to learn new technology and keep an open mind. The less successful people are the close minded, set-in-their ways type who do not want to change or adapt.
When I worked as a project manager many years ago, I had an instrumentation engineer that worked on the project. About every 3 months, he would go off and take a course on new models of instruments offered by various vendors. We had lunched one day and I asked why he takes time to go to these courses. He said that it is always good to continue to be in a learning mode and keep up with new generations of instrumentation. His philosophy was that the more that you learn about new technology, the better equipped you will be to better serve the project. You should never rest on what you already know but continue to learn about new technology otherwise you will be a dinosaur . We all know what happened to them.
Today, with the rapid changing technology, this is probably even more true.
Whether it is adapting to a new management regime or going through a job change where you need to go through re-training, embrace this as an opportunity for personal growth and keys to long term survival.
Improvise, adapt and overcome.
Jim Wylie, MBA, CPC, is a certified coach, experienced in working with business professionals and entrepreneur in helping them with their life’s goals. Jim has been in private industry for over 30 years working in various jobs ranging from Project Management to Global Key Account Management. He is a professor at Rowan University with the College of Business.