Ways to distinguish yourself #178 – Welcome new rules

When you were just learning to write the alphabets, all you had to do to get an applause from people around you was to write the alphabets correctly. Those were the rules of the game. When you moved to school, the rules changed almost without notice. You could not get an applause just by reciting or writing the alphabets.

At that time, I don’t think you complained. One reason – nobody in your school (your friends) complained about these new rules.

When you started your work, the rules changed again. There were no “exams” at work at scheduled intervals but every project that you undertook was almost like an exam.

When you moved up in your career, the rules changed again. If you continued to do what you did to get that promotion, it was no longer sufficient to move up to the next level. The rules had changed again. However, unlike a classroom, you didn’t have company of friends that were comfortable and welcoming the new rules. You were left alone to deal with the new rules.

I guess one of the enemies on our path to new success is the set of rules that made us successful in the past. I think the financial people have got it. They say “past performance is not an indicator of future results” along with every report. I guess this is equally applicable in a career setting too.

If you are a knowledge worker and want to progress in your career, it is guaranteed that every “step up” in your career will require you to play the game using the new rules. This looks like change management 101 where you try to “adapt” to change. What I am referring to is slightly different from change management. Rather than “adapt” to change, you need to “welcome” change. You need to welcome the new rules and eagerly wait for them. When you have to “adapt”, it feels like you are doing some “work” or “going the extra mile” to deal with things. When you “welcome the new rules” you are just dealing with what you were expecting to deal with. There is a subtle difference but that small difference is important.

Questions for you to think:

1. What new rules are you welcoming in your current position?

2. In order to “step up” in your career, what new rules should you welcome?

Note 1: Here is a Squidoo lens that links to most of the previous articles in this series:
Squidoo: Distinguish Yourself

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:
ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:
ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)