“change /CHānj/: (verb) make or become different (noun) the act or instance of making or becoming different.”
Many of my monthly letters have had a focus on change. It has been long stated that the only constant in life is change; however, that can feel unsettling and create anxiety. It is similar to the feeling of going on a roller coaster ride: the uneasy anticipation as you make the first climb, the stomach drop at the first high speed plunge and the relief when you arrive back at the platform. Just as we must face the reactions to each stage of the ride so must we cope with change.
There have been multiple waves of transformation at Skils’kin. However I feel confident that we grow stronger with each wave. We have invested in our people, our systems and our culture. Today as a whole, our management team is stronger than our leadership team was when I arrived seven years ago. We are continually looking for new opportunities and ways of doing business. We are not bound to operate in the manner in which we have. We are leaving legacy behind, not because it is bad, but in order to create more growth and opportunities.
Think back to learning to swim, ride a bike or ride the bus by yourself for the first time. Learning a new skill or conquering a fear can seem to be an insurmountable feat. However it is imperative to know that there is a freedom that lies on the other side of that fear. The changes around us might feel daunting, such as jumping off the deep end of the pool without assistance, but we will be rewarded for diving in by growing, developing new business lines, and providing further opportunities to individuals with disabilities. For this letter I asked Fairchild Air Force Base Senior Project Manager Vickey Graning what change meant to her. In the last year, Vickey has realized much change at Skils’kin via our purpose movement and her operational responsibilities, in addition to being enrolled in Leadership Spokane. Her words resonate with a profound sense of awareness:
“Change is a constant in life, both joyful and painful, that forces inward reflection and provocative thoughts about who we really are and who we aspire to be.”
Just as Vickey says in her quote, using these times to reflect on who we are and where we find our fulfillment is a way to capitalize on the momentum. We are better equipped to understand how we want to make a difference in our teams, in our organization and in our communities. This month I encourage you to reflect on changes in your personal life as well as in your work life. Look for the opportunities to reflect on how you want to make a difference, where you can stretch, where you can help someone else, and where you can find your purpose.