Recently, my partner was diagnosed with some health issues. Actually, she has had a variety of symptoms that doctors cannot define or diagnose. For those of you who know me, I am a “glass is half full” person. But even with my positive energy and outlook, there came the moment when we knew we were dealing with something greater, an illness that would create a lifestyle change for both of us. She has a fatigue syndrome which causes her to be tired to the point she must rest most days in order to heal. As a high-energy lawyer, this lifestyle change was incomprehensible. It fundamentally affected our lives in so many ways: in terms of activities, what we eat, and whether we travel, among other things. Unexpected change. It’s part of life. How we adapt is key. The attitude we hold is critical. All of these thoughts were on my mind as we adjusted to this new lifestyle.
Likewise, as I reflect on the disasters of the past weeks and think about those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, I see the impact of unexpected change in a major and traumatic way. It’s been devastating to see people and animals at the mercy of wind, rain and flooding. It’s also been inspiring to see the American spirit alive and well as neighbor helped neighbor, and strangers contributed millions of dollars to those impacted by the storm. Those affected have responded with a resilient attitude.
As leaders, we often must adapt to new situations and unexpected change. It’s my observation that we are often much more prepared for the unexpected when we’ve had life experiences that created moments of challenge that require us to adapt and be nimble. In our business, we experience change moment to moment as we negotiate a lease, work with a client, interface with engineers or manage a project. We rise to the challenge by being quick to assess the issues, strategic in responding to them and authentic in leading others through the challenges.
Looking ahead to the CREW Network Convention and Marketplace in Houston, I see how unexpectedly so many things that have happened in the last few weeks to me personally and through Mother Nature’s trail of destruction relate to our theme of “Disrupt.” In our lives and our work, we are disrupted by unexpected change. How we respond to it and adapt helps us be better leaders, better colleagues and better humans. I look forward to spending time with each of you at the convention connecting and comparing notes on change, nimbleness and attitude. You may have heard that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react. I believe it’s true. Do you?