Today’s Quote is from General Eric Shinseki
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If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.
-General Eric Shinseki
This sounds like a snarky comment from General Shinseki, but it’s said with a large does of the truth. Let me tell you a little about General Shinseki.
From Wikipedia: Eric Ken Shinseki (/ʃᵻnˈsɛki/; born November 28, 1942) is a retired United States Army general who served as the seventh United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2009-2014). His final U.S. Army post was as the 34th Chief of Staff of the Army (1999–2003). Shinseki is a veteran of two tours of combat in the Vietnam War, in which he was awarded three Bronze Stars for valor and two Purple Hearts. He was both the first Asian-American four-star general(1997) and then the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
I have a great deal of respect for General Shinseki and for all members of the United States Armed Forces, those serving now and those who have served. I have many close friends and family members either in or out of the services. Thank you all for your service.
I served 7 years in the Army National Guard. I served between 1976 and 1983. It was peace time. I had it easy.
If you are not from the States, you should probably thank the military in your country as well.
Now that I’ve said that, let’s get back to the quote.
Change is tough for some people. I have been in Information Technology for many years. I have worked in change management when we brought in new technologies to companies. People get used to doing things the way they want to do them, the way they’ve always done it. That’s one of the worst things you can say to most people in the technology field. “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
General Shinseki states very truthfully,
“If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.”
What does he mean by this. Well, the world is changing. If you don’t accept change, no, embrace change, you will have to deal with irrelevance.
How many of you remember Smith Corona? How many of you remember the IBM Selectric? What am I talking about? Typewriters.
How many of you have used a typewriter?
How many of you have one in your home? Would you believe that people used to have 1 or more typewriters in their home?
If you don’t remember Smith Corona Typewriters; well that’s because they don’t make them any more. Once the premier typewriter manufacturer, the company makes labels for bar codes. They became irrelevant. They did pivot and changed, which is a testament to the company.
It also reminds me of a site visit I did to a major mortgage lender in 2003. I was in the process of implementing an electronic content management solution for our mortgage company. Our goal was to go paperless. We visited this lender that had achieved the goal we wanted to achieve.
During the tour of their facility, we were amazed that we didn’t see a single filing cabinet in their office. Well, actually we did see plenty. They were all piled up in one of their conference rooms, but they were all empty, getting ready to go to a scrap company.
All our their lending employees were using electronic documents and processing and underwriting on their computer screens. Only one piece of paper was printed, because the FHA required a signature of the underwriter on it. Once it was printed, the underwriter would sign it, stick it in a bin on their desk. The papers would be picked up several times a day, scanned and then shredded.
When asked how they managed to convince their staff to get used to this, they answered, “Most everyone realized that it was more beneficial for the company and themselves to work this way. We did have one underwriter that couldn’t change the way they did things.”
“How did you change their mind” we asked.
“We didn’t. They don’t work here any more.”
You have to be able to change these days. You have to be able to pivot. This is true in business and in life. If you cannot change. You will be irrelevant at some point.
“If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less.
If you don't like change, you will like irrelevance even less. ~~ General Eric Shinseki Click To Tweet
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Reviewer name: Slue111222
Date: January 22, 2016
Comment: Whether you are chasing a big dream or striving to achieve small goals, Tony is like the cool life coach you’ve always wanted to have. He speaks with confidence, is inspiring to listen to, and his material is easy to understand. Each episode is conveniently condensed into several minutes and Tony gets straight to the point. Since listening to Goal Getting, I’ve become a lot more focused on my goals and gained a clearer picture of what I need to do to achieve them. I can’t wait until this podcasts resumes again!
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