Sparkin - Moving You Forward September, 2023
Stuart Parkin
Narrate A Newsletter For Strategic Problem Solvers

Success Demands Adaptability

I wrote about adaptability six months ago but this year in particular, I've received so many calls from strategists struggling to adapt, that I thought I must revisit this theme.

Having decent mental health, let alone having a successful career is increasingly about one thing, your ability to adapt. But adapt to what? Changing working practices, changing pressures to deliver results, demands on you to learn new skills, expectations that you can easily work with a variety of people/expertise and teams; That you can learn new ideas and how to thrive in new environments, quickly. Yes, all of the above.

Most of us have a sense of what adaptability is,

'the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions,'

or perhaps,

'your ability to channel change in to success.?'

Most dangerous - When you think you're an adaptable person when you aren't. For this person, the world will feel a frustrating place and the person will quite possibly sooner or later feel alientated.

Who is most likely, an 'adaptable person?' The person that has encountered many work and non-work situations, where there skills and/or mentality were tested; An individual that is practiced in constant change. Perhaps they have moved alot/Lived in different cultures. Perhaps when they grew up they constantly moved and had to make new friends in new environments?

Key, what steps can you take now, to build up what I will refer as  the third intelligence rating after 'IQ' and 'EQ,' your 'AQ' or Adaptability quotient. Some key thoughts:

Practice change - Put yourself in situations at/and away from work where you test ability and comfort levels. Do this on your own terms when your livelihood isn't dependent on it.

Constant learning - Whether learning about yourself or others or new subject matter, you are more likely to adapt through constant development.

Good support network - Our success is 'so not' simply about us! You will get through the biggest challenges you face through having family/friends/mentors around that can help you.

Coping Mechanisms - 'Know thyself.' Be aware when you are under extreme pressure, how you manage to cope. Know your go to tools for coping with sudden or extreme demands on you.

Be a generalist with a 'specialty.' - Understanding the bigger picture is more likely to allow you atleast, to understand change when it comes. Generalists know about alot of things and are therefore more likely to survive and thrive when change comes barrelling toward you.

Transferable skills - An existential crisis occurs when you no longer see meaning/believe you have value - Understand now, the power of the skills you have/their transferability way beyond what you currently do for a living. 

Positive mindset/Our Psychology - Change can be horrifying but it can also be for the good. If you can learn in the face of change to default to a positive take, such as 'it could have been so much worse or this could actually be good,' rather than the mindset of a victim, 'Why me,' you use your energy focused on adapting versus fighting change.

What else might you add?

All the best,










Stuart: 646-280-5147

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