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Commentary Post - Tom Mendoza

Six Powerful Ways to Embrace Change

October 31, 2012

Most people are averse to change. They like to keep things the way they are; they like to stay in their comfort zone.

But great people ask questions like, “What’s next?” and “What am I getting better at?”
Here are three ideas to embrace change in your life and career, and three ways to apply those ideas…

Over my years as a NetApp executive, I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of great people, both inside my company and at many other companies around the world. More than any other, one single attribute separates people in the workplace. That’s attitude.

Attitude is critical when it comes to embracing change. Great people are always looking for ways to change; to grow. As I always say, you are either getting better or getting worse: If you’re staying the same you’re getting worse.

That’s why Embracing Change is one of the 5 key components of our company culture.

How To Embrace Change

1. I don’t look back: I’m not one to dwell on the past. Other than noting lessons learned, I just prefer to put my energy into the present.

I’m not a fan of reunions: if I wanted to know these people I would. But I do like to get together with old friends, do something new, and talk about what’s next.

That’s the exciting thing to talk about: what’s coming. Thinking about what’s next is what pushes us forward.

2. Ask yourself, “What’s next?” It opens you to a new world of possibilities. You begin to think bigger. You begin to ask yourself what’s possible, if only you could challenge yourself.

I believe that people often fall short when they dream and set goals for themselves; they underestimate what they’re capable of. They’re afraid to think big; afraid of challenging themselves to greatness.

When you ask yourself what’s next, embracing change has to be a part of that or it’s a waste of time. What’s the point of making goals if it doesn’t make you get better, or change something for the better?

3. You must be bold when you set your goals. You have to dream big. And then you have to believe in the goal and in your ability to achieve that goal. If you don’t believe and you don’t stretch and you don’t set your aim at aggressively bold goals, you’ve no chance to reach them.

I mentioned attitude earlier, and this is the core of it. You have to have the attitude to allow yourself to overcome the fear of change.

To read the entire article, see "6 Powerful Ways to Embrace Change" on Forbes.com.