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  • Scott Nowlan

The Winds of Change – Your Weekend Reading

Winds of Change

Over the course of the 25 years I have been working (OK, maybe it’s 26 but who is counting), I have been fortunate to work with some amazing people who have taught me everything I know. I have also had the opportunity to work around the world, work with hundreds and different customers and suppliers. I think I have been very fortunate.

So what?

The first paragraph (above) could have been written by any number of people who are reading this now. But, I have been thinking a lot about as I prepared to launch the new company – feeling those butterflies of anxiety and uncertainty, experiencing some self-doubt but at the same time having waves of excitement, giddy with anticipation with hope and trepidation all at the same time.

Now I know why I can write that first paragraph. I LOVE CHANGE.

I remember the first time that I changed jobs. I was 25 or 26 and my Father said to me, “why are you leaving a perfectly good job?” I don’t think I had a very good answer for him then but it just felt like the right thing to do. Several years later – a merger and acquisition behind me – and again, off to something new and my Father said simply, “I don’t understand why…” Worse than that was my sin of changing industry sectors facing questions like, “what could you possible know about that….”. I didn’t, but I thought I could bring a “new” perspective in order to add value and (hopefully) be successful.

Each time, I longed for change.

But here is the interesting part. I never changed because I felt desperate or that there was something negative on the go. I changed because I felt it was time to learn something new; to throw myself into high waves of the unknown. Was it boredom? Not sure. But, I did have the desire to try something new.

I have had some people look at me – particularly career coaches and head hunters – and shake their heads. “Where is the linear commitment to an industry or specialization”? I have no response except for when I look back – and forward, I see a progression of skills; a variety of cultural experiences and lots of changes in responsibilities. In other words, I see lots of building blocks. Exciting new challenges with many paths in front so I move forward with a gut check – who knows where it will lead.

So what? There is that question again.

I am reminded of my favourite quote by Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.”

The most exciting part of jumping into the unknown, is keeping your eyes wide open - it's so much harder than closing your eyes! Go ahead – make a change. You will never regret it.

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