Have the Courage to Change

By Larry Bonfante

The one thing in life that is constant is change. There are times in our lives when we choose change. Other times, change chooses us. In either case, we have to decide how we will deal with change. There are three basic approaches we can take to handling change.

The first approach  is to fight it. Often times, change is uncomfortable. It jolts us from our nice comfortable existence and forces us to deal with issues that we would rather not address.

Instead of listening to that little voice in our head telling us we that need to evolve, we try to drown it out and retain the status quo. This may work for a while, but sooner or later, circumstances dictate that avoidance will no longer work in our favor.

The second approach is to grudgingly accept change. In this situation, we don’t like the idea of changing, but we realize that fighting it isn’t working, so we will have to go along for the ride. The problem with this approach is that instead of enjoying and looking forward to the ride, we miss all the beauty of the scenery because we are too busy being afraid of what will happen as we journey down this new road.

The third approach we can take is to embrace change. We may not know where the change will ultimately lead us, but we have the faith to know that somehow we will come out the other side better and stronger for having had the courage to evolve.

On many occasions, I have worked with executives who were going through major career and life transitions. These are talented and accomplished leaders with a proven track record of success.

In spite of their success, they are often terrified of what was happening and worried about what was to come. I’ve tried to share with them these thoughts, which I will now pass on to you.

Change is like the circus coming into town: It will arrive whether we want it to or not. Our only choice is to decide whether we to be the ringmaster of the big top or sweeping up after the elephants!  

Each of us has that voice in our head that tries to guide us to become our authentic selves. The more we try to drown out that voice, the louder it can get.

Many of my clients try to hang on to what used to be, without understanding that as the landscape changes, so does their reality. As I’ve said to many people, the surest way to wreck your car is to drive it while constantly staring in the rearview mirror!

After 35 years in the industry, including 15 as a CIO, I have decided to listen to that voice in my head, embrace change and be my authentic self. Moving forward, I will focus all my energy on making a living by making a difference: I am dedicating myself to being a coach and trusted business partner to the people I work with in order to help them succeed on their journey of change.

As we start this new year, I will leave you with a simple thought: Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.

Here’s hoping all your changes in 2017 are for the best!

Larry Bonfante is an award-winning CIO with 35 years of experience in the IT industry. As the founder of CIO Bench Coach, he has served as executive coach and business partner to more than 100 executives at some of the most prestigious companies in the world. You can contact Bonfante at Larry@ciobenchcoach.com and follow him on Twitter at @bonfante.

Larry Bonfante
Larry Bonfante
Larry Bonfante is a practicing CIO and founder of CIO Bench Coach, LLC, an executive coaching practice for IT executives. He is also the author of Lessons in IT Transformation, published by John Wiley & Sons. He can be reached at Larry@CIOBenchCoach.com.

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