Change is one of the few certainties in the business world—or, just generally, in life. The question that successful people ask isn’t whether or not things will change. The million dollar question is: When change happens, how will I respond to it?

You see, good leaders are able to weather change—to survive it. Great leaders thrive on change. They see every fork in the road or ebb in the tide as an opportunity to learn something, to develop their business, and to get better at what they do.

How do you ensure that you’re responding to change constructively? Here are a few quick tips:

  • Never take it personally. Understand that change is the cost of doing business. Even if your star manager or your favorite sales leader abruptly quits, or a big client withdraws his business for no apparent reason, remember that it’s just business. There’s no use in allowing it to hurt your feelings.
  • Be candid about it. Pretending like change isn’t happening is a mistake, if only because your team members will think you’re being too insular or cutting them out of the loop. Be transparent about the change that’s going on at your company in order to prevent employee confusion.
  • Stay positive. Even with a really unwelcome change, there is often a silver lining—a chance for you to learn a new skill, bring in a great new employee, or watch as other team members rise to meet new challenges. Focus on these positives, rather than letting the negatives crush your morale.
  • Start planning. Instead of reacting to change—based on your emotions or your impulses—respond to it, thoughtfully and constructively. Formulate a plan to guide you and your team through the change, capitalizing on it however you can.

As the old song says, a change is gonna come—to your business, to your team, to your industry, to your personal life. The question isn’t if or even when. The question is, how will you make the most of it, and show your true character as a leader?

Now let’s get real: EVERY business can benefit from better teamwork, from more unity, from greater focus and drive.

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