Dealing with Change

Leadership Coaching with Mel Brown

Because readers have submitted questions regarding the issue of dealing with change, I have decided to respond to their questions in this column by rerunning, with a few major changes, a two-part series from a few years ago.

This month’s column will address “When It Is Time to Change” and October’s column will discuss “How Employees Adapt to Change and What to Do About It.”

When It Is Time to Change

I heard a story about a man attending a reunion who was shocked to see his old high school friend now had a peg leg, a hook in place of one of his hands and a patch over one of his eyes.

When he asked his old friend what had happened the friend told him that after finishing school he did what he always had dreamed of doing. He had become a pirate.

When asked about all the injuries he appeared to have suffered, the friend explained, “Well, like I said, I became a pirate and one day we were attacked by a British ship. As they fired upon us, one of the cannon balls caught me just below the knee and tore the lower part of my leg off. I knew that they would be boarding our ship and I would need to be able to stand up and fight so I took a piece of the broken mast and used a piece of the sail to tie it to my leg so I could stand up. It worked so well that when I got to shore I just had them make me a peg leg.”

When asked about the hook, the pirate explained, “Well, when they boarded our ship, I got into a sword fight and during the fight, I got my hand cut off. They left me lying there to die. I knew that I would need both hands to do what it took to man the ship and get it to shore. I took a piece of metal and tied it to the end of my arm so I could do what was necessary to save the ship. It worked so well that when I got to shore I just had them make me a permanent hook to use as a hand.”

When asked about his eye, the pirate explained, “The way to find land is to look for sea gulls because they do not go far from land. In my search I spotted a flock of seagulls and as I was looking up, one of them made a deposit in my eye.”

When his friend said, “but that would not put out your eye,” the pirate responded, “it would if you had not adjusted to having a hook for hand.” While the above story [MORE…]