Barack, the Beatles, and Change

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Along with the rest of the world, I just watched Barack Obama become the 44th president of the United States of America. No matter what your own personal political views may be, there can be no question that this represents a monumental and fundamental change in our nation’s history. And I’m reminded once again that change, in and of itself, is nothing to be feared. Rather, change is a necessary and natural part of progress, of growth.

Yes, change can be scary. In the current economic environment, many have seen their financial situations change for the worse. So what’s the proper response to this change? More change. Not “change-for-the-sake-of-change,” but purposeful, intelligent, focused change. Why? Because it’s only through change that we truly develop and achieve character, leadership, and yes, prosperity.

Look at the Beatles’ career. They burst onto the scene (after years of struggle) in 1964 as the “lovable moptops.” Just three years later, they emerged from the recording studio with the mustaches, glasses, and ground-breaking sound of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was a quantum leap forward. It shook up the entire music industry in so many ways. It changed the game, and the competition was once again left in the dust. And yet it wasn’t a change that was universally celebrated. Many fans didn’t want change. They wanted to keep their “lovable moptops” forever. But the Beatles realized then–and the world was reminded less than an hour ago–that change is a necessary and natural part of progress. Without change, there can be no growth.

Yes, change implies a measure of uncertainty, and uncertainty can be uncomfortable. But it can also be invigorating. As you look at your own business, are you willing to accept–and not just accept, but promote–the changes that can truly make a difference in your work, your life, and your industry? Do you have what it takes to lead your team through a time of uncertainty in the name of growth and progress? Remember, the opposite of change is not “the good old days;” it’s stagnation.

Today we’ve seen how change can re-energize a nation and a world. As you work with your team, I encourage you to no longer fear or shy away from change, but to embrace it.


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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