The Winds of Change are Blowing By: William I. Brazley Jr., HR Director As we ease into the 2018 calendar year, the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office (JCCO) will look a little different than it did at the beginning of 2017. A lot of changes have taken place over the last year. As of the date of this article, 15% of our workforce was not here a year ago. Some of our departments have had, or are undergoing, a physical restructuring, and there are familiar faces in new leadership positions; including yours truly. Arthur John C. Maxwell coined the phrase “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” What he is saying is that change is going to happen. However, the way we manage that change will determine if we move forward or if we are left behind. This is true in our personal lives as well as in our professional careers. More times than not, change is viewed as a negative. The truth is, whether a change is good or bad will usually depend on our perspective. That’s the whole point behind whether the glass is half full or half empty. Since change is inevitable, we should recognize that sooner or later our surroundings, and maybe even the people around us will change. The more we understand this, the less upset or surprised we will be when it occurs. Since change is inevitable, we can’t stop it from occurring. If we can’t stop it, then we must learn how to manage it. Usually, our main concern is how this change will affect us, which is a legitimate concern. Don’t assume or gossip, communicate. Talk to your supervisor and to those in the know to get first-hand knowledge of what is changing, why it is being changed and how it will affect you. People fear change because they have a fear of the unknown. Change is less frightening when you have full knowledge and understanding of what is changing and how it affects you. Keep the lines of communication open. Once you know what’s going on, you can relax and set some smart goals for yourself. Be flexible, continue to do your work and keep a positive attitude. Change requires you to be flexible. The easier you can adapt to change, the better you will be able to manage it and the more successful you will be. Continue to do your work and resist the urge to resist. Your attitude and how you handle change will be remembered when future opportunities and promotions arise. You know the old saying, “your attitude determines your altitude.” Finally, look at the big picture and the reason for the change. Does it make sense? Does it align with your company’s mission statement? Does it offer you an opportunity to learn new things and to grow? Can you still fulfill your professional goals within the change? If you can answer yes to these questions then I would say that not only is the change good, but that you have a good chance of benefitting from it. John C. Maxwell has “Seven Steps to success”, which are; 1. Make a commitment to grow daily. 2. Value the process more than events. 3. Don’t wait for inspiration. 4. Be willing to sacrifice pleasure for opportunity. 5. Dream big. 6. Plan your priorities. 7. Give up to go up. There is no way that you can accomplish the seven things listed above without changing. Remember, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” What will your choice be? Will you adapt to the change because of your flexibility, or will you resist the change and not even try? There is only one thing worse than failing, and that’s failing to try. John C. Maxwell The Principle of Change and Developing the Leader Within Calvin Sun 10 Tips for dealing with change in the workplace Terri Babers How to Deal With Change 3 “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”