I attended a conference session recently where the presenter, Nankhonde Kasonde-van den Broek, talked about perspective as it relates to change. The image she used was a tornado to depict either personal or professional changes in our lives, and the question for us is how do we navigate? Are we the force driving the storm, or are we a participant caught up in it?

Over the past two years, there has been lots of change that impacts us, globally, nationally, and/or personally. Every one of us has probably weathered more storms than we care to count and the impact of each has been different. In addition, unless you’re lucky you’re probably dealing with multiple tornados at a time. The important thing to do is to learn from those experiences and adapt how you manage the next tornado. Another consideration depending on where you are, is that any tornado could have a positive outcome. A simple example: clients who are pleased with your services refer others, leading to increased workload, but a there is a recognition of the work you do in helping others.

I will admit, going through change is not always a positive experience at the time, and recovery may be challenging, but if you set your eyes to your goals and vision, you’re able to see past the here and now. Proactive planning to solidify your goals is key to navigating change and this is my core philosophy, learned over 20 years in a global corporate environment. It’s also one of the key reasons I became an Executive and Leadership Coach, to help people clarify their goals, identify limiting believes, and create an action plan to move you toward that vision.

What techniques do you use that enable you to look beyond the tornado, whether you’re inside the swirl or getting blown by the peripheral winds? How do you strive to move toward that goal and not get sidetracked -think squirrel? In our careers, we tend to think about annual objectives; set time aside to extend the horizon. Where do you want to be in 3-5 years? More importantly - and this one I’m still working on - what do you want to be when you grow up?